Imagine this scenario for a minute. It is a Monday morning. You are rushing around getting your daughter ready for school as well as yourself for a day packed with work-related deadlines. You mentally run through the week’s calendar of upcoming events. Church commitments, PTO and business meetings, grocery shopping, a soccer game, and ballet classes. The list seems endless.
Suddenly your daughter brings you out of your momentary mental frenzy and poses these words: “Mommy I wish we had some time to go to the zoo and then the park to have a picnic soon. We have not been on a picnic for a long time. Can we please plan a fun day this Saturday?”
As you look into her big brown eyes, your heart melts. You hear yourself reply yes to what seems like a wonderful idea at the moment. You even make a promise that it will be such a fun day together. Your child joyfully picks up her backpack and skips to the car for the ride to school in anticipation of the promise that will be fulfilled by the end of the week.
The rest of the week fulfills its own promise to be as stressful and trying as you had anticipated. Finally, Friday rolls around and you are doing a hallelujah joy dance that you actually have nothing planned for Saturday. Then your child comes up to you smiling and says how happy she is because tomorrow will be spent at the zoo and park (in heat and high humidity because the weatherman missed the forecast AGAIN!) Your mind and heart give a groan as you remember making that commitment. The last thing you want to think about doing at that moment is having an agenda the next day.
You look at your child and try to explain that perhaps tomorrow may not be the best day for so much outdoor activity. With enthusiasm, you suggest planning the outing for another day when the temperatures are cooler. You even offer to go to a movie together where you can sit and relax in an air-conditioned environment and fill up on over buttered popcorn! With eyes opened wide as saucers and in complete shock that you would even suggest such a thing, your child says, “But mommy…you PROMISED!” You know at that moment that there is no use in debating the possibility of rescheduling the zoo and picnic outing because yes, indeed…you promised!
Oh, the power of a promise! The dictionary defines a promise in this way: A declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.
As I pondered on the word ‘promise’ and its definition, my thoughts turned to the Word of God and all the many promises it holds. Through his Word, God has made provision for everything we face each day.
That is where prayer comes in. Prayer is talking to God…about everything. But here is the thing. When we pray scripture prayers, we are praying back the promise that God has given us for a problem we may be facing. In order to do that, however, we must know the promises. We must know how to take a scripture promise and apply it to our situation or need.
Think about this analogy. You need some cash so you go to the bank to withdraw some money. You would not go up to the bank teller and ask for a sum of money if you did not know how much was in your bank account. Before you ever went to the bank, you would already know how much money you have access to because you made it a point to know what was available.
Friend’s you have a wealth of promises in your spiritual bank account…but you need to know what God has stored up for you in order to be able to use that wealth of promises.
Life will always have its share of problems but those problems should not be a license to worry. Worry says that God is not big enough but prayer says God is more than enough.
Praying God’s Word…his promises…back to him when you pray is very important. Again, you must know what the promise is for a situation. When I learned to pray back the promises of God, it totally changed my prayer strategy and my prayer life. I would like to suggest a couple of ways that may be helpful in searching out scripture promises.
First, try using a concordance. The Strong’s Concordance is a great resource. You can use a hardback copy or even download an app on your device or smartphone. By typing in a word or short phrase, you can access a list of the Bible scriptures that contain that particular word in a verse. You can do a search on topics like healing, hope, peace, joy, wisdom, patience, love, fear, etc etc.
Then go to your Bible and highlight the scripture that pertains to the problem or situation. I would also suggest that you write out the scripture verse in a journal or on note cards…or both! The advantage of writing the scriptures out is that you can post those in various places in your home or take them with you in your purse. The more you see them and read them, the more these promises will sink into your spirit.
Years ago when I was dealing with fear and anxiety, I wrote out every scripture I could find related to that subject in a small notebook. That notebook went everywhere with me. If I was waiting in a school car line or for an appointment, I would read them over and over again. It finally got to the point that when fear would try to overtake me, I no longer had to look at the scriptures on paper because their truth had now settled into my heart! God’s Word says we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. (John 8:32)I knew those promises were mine given to me by my Heavenly Father and he would not go back on his word to set me free.
Another suggestion I have is to purchase a Bible promise book. Most of them are small enough to carry in a purse. Usually, this type of book has scriptures categorized by topics for an easy reference. Again, I urge you to read those scripture promises repeatedly. Friends, I cannot stress enough the vital importance of knowing scripture and hiding it in your heart. A soldier does not wait until he is in the middle of a battlefield to try and figure out where he left his battle gear. We are in a spiritual war each day and our minds are the battlefield. We must be prepared for every attack by knowing God’s Word and then being able to apply it. When the enemy is firing an arsenal of fiery arrows at you, that is not the time to try to find a word to fight with. Be prepared.
With today’s technology searching for promise scriptures can be as easy as simply using the Google search feature. If you type in “Bible scripture promises” you will be amazed at what your search will come up with. Many of those links will actually provide a way to freely download and print scriptures which are grouped into various categories. Here is just one link that I found online in a Google search. I hope you will find it helpful.
I would like to say another thing about prayer and God’s promises. I do not want you to misunderstand what I am trying to convey. God is sovereign and his way of doing things is perfect even when we do not fully understand his methods. He always hears and answers our prayers. But the way in which he answers may not always look like the answer we thought we would get. But it is still an answer to our need.
Let me take the subject of healing just as an example. I know that God can heal someone miraculously. I have seen him do it. However, I also know that at times he may choose the hand of a surgeon, or medication or various other medical treatments. Does that mean a person has not received their answer for healing? No, I do not believe that at all.
When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer the Lord spoke to my heart and said he would heal me. But he said he was going to take me through a ‘Refiner’s fire’ to bring about my healing. I want to share the link to my healing testimony here through this blog post link. All glory to God that here I am twelve years later with no evidence of cancer according to the most recent yearly follow up test I had just a few weeks ago.
I was so covered in prayer by countless prayer warriors throughout my cancer journey. They stood with me in faith and prayer for my healing. Yes, my preference would have been a miraculous healing where cancer would have simply disappeared. What a testimony that would have been. But God chose a different method to heal me. What a testimony I still have! His ways are perfect and without fail. And yes…he answered my prayer!
Never doubt the power of prayer. Never doubt the power of his promises. Start digging into the treasury of promises that are waiting to be found.God’s scripture promises are ours to know and to use in order to live a life of victory regardless of our circumstances.
If you missed the introduction, or other posts in this series, we invite you to follow this link. These Telling Hearts will help you focus on what is most important! >collaborative series: Prayer