BOOK OF GOD'S PROMISES
J. Steven Lang
CBN.com -- Prayer is talked about a lot among religious people. Books are written
about it, and you can even attend seminars and workshops on prayer. The odd thing,
most people do not pray regularly.
But the Bible is brimming over with
promises: Prayer brings us into God's presence. Prayer changes people. Prayer
changes the world.
The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who
call on him sincerely. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears
their cries for help and rescues them.
The eyes of the LORD
watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.
LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all
Psalm 34:15, 17
The LORD says, "I will rescue those who
love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will
answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will
satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation."
our instant gratification society, prayer seems out of place. We pray for something
and expect it to happen immediately -- or soon, anyway. The Bible promises answers,
but not immediate ones. The two following passages from the Gospels depict Jesus
recommending perseverance in prayer.
One day Jesus told his disciples
a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they
must never give up. "There was a judge in a certain city," he said, "who was a
godless man with great contempt for everyone. A widow of that city came to him
repeatedly, appealing for justice against someone who had harmed her. The judge
ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out. `I fear neither God
nor man,' he said to himself, `but this woman is driving me crazy. I'm going to
see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'"
Then the Lord said, "Learn a lesson from this evil judge. Even he rendered
a just decision in the end, so don't you think God will surely give justice to
his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them
off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when I, the Son of
Man, return, how many will I find who have faith?"
asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will
find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. You
parents -- if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone
instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If
you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more
will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."
We can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything
in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests,
we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.
1 John 5:14
about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank
him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which
is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard
your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
understood the importance of prayer. But he also understood that some people like
to make a "show" out of prayer, trying to impress others with their long and flowery
prayers. He assured his followers that this kind of prayer had no influence with
God, who understands our motives:
"When you pray, go away by yourself, shut
the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows
all secrets, will reward you.
"When you pray, don't babble on and on as people
of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating
their words again and again. Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly
what you need even before you ask him!"
Some people claim
they don't know how to pray. The Bible is full of examples, including the
famous Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4). But the Bible also promises
that our awkwardness at praying does not need to hold us back. He has given us
a "prayer partner," the Spirit:
The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For
we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy
Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
See Confessing Sin, Fellowship with God.
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The Book of God's Promises. Copyright by J.
Stephen Lang. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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