Praying God’s Word – Promises and Power
Praying God’s Word is simply a way to pray. Prayer can be an awkward, difficult proposition for many people. Uncertainty about phrasing our communication with God makes us want to leave prayer to the “religious professionals.” It doesn’t have to be that way. God desires to speak to us and He wants us to speak to Him!
In Matthew 6, Jesus speaks about the wrong motives for prayer. The Pharisees had turned prayer into a public act to demonstrate their righteousness. Their prayers were not directed to God, but to men. In condemning these practices, Jesus taught that prayer should be addressed “to your Father, who is unseen.” Jesus presented a sincere prayer for His disciples to follow (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus spoke aloud to His Father, suggesting that a deeper level of interaction and communion with God occurs when we actually pray God’s own words back to Him.
The Bible is a book of promises from God’s heart to ours. His promises surpass the qualities of the temporal because each of God’s promises is made by the One who possesses the authority and power to fulfill all of them perfectly. God faithfully responds to every believing prayer that is grounded upon the promises of His Word. Each promise becomes a firm building block which forms the foundation for our faith. Praying God’s Word is like uncovering buried treasure.
Praying God’s Word – Believing and Receiving
Whenever we specifically pray God’s Word, we are put in touch with the heart of God. The Psalms represent some of the most tender, urgent, and devoted prayers humankind has ever spoken to God. It is in Psalms that we discover the writers’ dedication to God, their faith in God, and their questions about God. How familiar are these emotions as we face sickness, loneliness, or betrayal? David’s disappointment and desperation reflect his perceptions of God during adverse times. Like David, there are times when we also cry out to see if God truly cares.
In Psalm 13, David expressed both his anguish before God and his confidence in God: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?... But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation; I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” David may have recalled how God chose to “hide his face” in response to the Israelites’ rebellion (Deuteronomy 31:17-18). Yet David found strength in God’s promises: “But my love will never be taken away from him [David]...Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:15-16). Praying God’s Word out loud reminds us once again of His promises, which are irrevocable and unwavering.
As God’s children we have full assurance through the Holy Spirit who makes God’s promises a reality in our hearts. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ...” (Romans 8:16–17). Believing and praying God’s Word feeds His promises into our spirit. The abundance of God’s promises is our rightful inheritance as His children. In believing and receiving His Word, we experience an incredible surge of faith in our hearts. Our ineffectual doubt transforms into powerful assurance.
Praying God’s Word – Surrendering and Confirming
As human beings, we all share common needs that are emotional, physical, and spiritual. Spiritual needs should receive the highest priority because once these needs are met, other needs will be fulfilled as well. “But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). We must make heaven our goal and holiness our way.
When confronted with a serious physical or emotional need, however, it may be nearly impossible to assign preeminence to issues of righteousness and holiness.