The Promises of God prompt our prayers.
Our Prayers activate the Promises of God.
What response do we typically observe to the promises of God? Some may not even recognize His words as a promise. To others, there may be doubt as to God’s ability to fulfill the promise. Many of us, myself included, may recognize the promise and merely assume that it will come to pass. We may not be aware of our part in the fulfillment of all that the Lord intends to bring about. The Scriptures contain multiple instances, however, of those whose interaction with God and prayers to Him were based on promises that were made by Him.
One of the more striking examples of a request made of God was based on a promise He had made concerning the people of Israel. When the Lord saw their great sin of building the golden calf as an idol He said to Moses “Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” (Exodus 32:10) Moses’ response to God was based on a promise previously made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel. “Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” (Exodus 32:13) The prayer of Moses was recorded in Deuteronomy 9:26-28. “I prayed to the LORD and said “O Sovereign LORD, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin. Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the LORD was not able to take them into the land he promised them, he brought them out to put them to death in the desert.’” Exodus 32:14 states that “Then the LORD relented and did not bring on this people the disaster he had threatened.”
Daniel also records for us his prayer which was prompted by the promise of God. “In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian Kingdom- in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the LORD God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” His prayer, which was contained in the next sixteen verses, concluded with the following appeal in verse 19. “O Lord, listen! O Lord forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”
The history of the Navigators is one which is based on prayer prompted by the promises of God. Dawson Trotman, Lorne Sanny and others met early in the morning, placing their fingers on the map of the world and asking God to fulfill His promises, many of which were found in the book of Isaiah. The promises of God were activated with the result of many laborers now living in these countries and discipling those coming to Christ. Only eternity will reveal the importance of those meetings which resulted in prayer for the nations.
The promises of God are multiple and varied with some based on meeting certain conditions for their fulfillment. Others represented the richness of His Grace toward mankind, expressing desire for His righteousness to be made evident in our lives and expressing itself in fruitfulness through our lives. One of these promises that began to prompt our prayers for our own children as well as other individuals is found in Isaiah 61:3. “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting for the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Based on His purpose and His promise we can pray confidently that He will perform His work in their lives for the display of His splendor!
The LORD, however, has more in mind for those for whom we pray than being a solitary oak of righteousness. He desires that their lives will so impact others that many people will be brought to Him and discipled as a result of His Grace in and through them. His promise in that regard is given us in Isaiah 43:4. “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.” This promise should prompt our prayers that the Lord would raise up the foundations of many generations of believers through their lives. How extensive does the Lord desire the effectiveness of our lives to be manifest?
His promise in Isaiah 60:22 is as follows. “The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.” Do these promises prompt our prayers? Are we able, by faith, to see the transformation of those with whom we meet into oaks of righteousness, the development of other disciples through their lives, to the extent that the least of the generations would be a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation? These promises of God have prompted the prayers of many throughout the years. It is my prayer that the Lord’s promises would prompt our prayers as well, initiating His activity in fulfilling these promises.
In Christ, Richard Spann