"Pray to the Lord day and night for the fulfillment of His promises. Take no rest, all you who pray. Give the Lord no rest..."
- Isaiah 62:6 NLT
When you trusted Christ as your Savior and Lord, you inherited a wealth of divine promises. By believing and claiming these scriptural promises, you can live the abundant, victorious life that Jesus died for you to have. The Lord has given His children promises of provision, healing, wisdom, strength, peace, joy, and everything we need to fulfill our God-given purpose and potential on this earth. But these heavenly resources are not automatic; we have to lay hold of them by faith. The Bible says, "Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Hebrews 6:12 NKJV) Usually, before we see the promise come to pass that we're claiming, we will have to go through a period of patiently waiting on God. One reason why we don't see more Christians enjoying the rewards of God's promises, is that we have a tendency to lose faith before we receive the answer. We actually talk ourselves out of our blessings when they get delayed, by thinking, "I guess it just wasn't God's will." That may be true in some cases, but if we are walking in close fellowship with the Lord on a day-to-day basis--devoting ourselves to prayer and the study of His Word--we can trust that we are hearing from God when we ask for His will and wisdom in a situation. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." (John 15:7 NKJV) Why is it so important for us to be attuned to God's will in a situation? Because the Bible says that praying according to His will is an important key to answered prayer. "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15 NIV) God's Word is God's will, so when we want to pray about something, turning to the Scriptures for guidance is the perfect place to start.
Let me give you some practical examples of how you can begin to claim God's promises for your needs. Suppose you need healing in your body. You can ask the Lord to lead you to some promises in His Word that cover your need. You discover Jeremiah 30:17 (NIV), which says, "I will restore you to health and heal your wounds." (Jeremiah 30:17 NIV) Then you begin praying, "Lord, I ask that You fulfill Your promise by restoring me to health and healing my wounds." If your healing is delayed, you can reaffirm your belief that God will act on your behalf by confessing repeatedly, "The Lord is restoring me to health, and He's healing my wounds!" And you can really delight the heart of God by beginning to thank Him in advance for fulfilling His promise to you by saying, "Thank You, Lord, for restoring my health and healing my wounds!" Notice how your faith increases, and your hope abounds, as you focus on the promise, instead of your circumstances. Over the years, I have seen my percentage of answered prayer increase dramatically, simply because I have decided to make my prayers promise-centered, instead of problem-centered.
Now suppose you have a material or financial need. You go to God's Word, and you discover that He has offered to be your provider as you put your trust in Him. You say: "Lord, Your Word says that You will liberally supply all of our needs, so I'm asking You to provide us with the money we need to pay our rent this month." (Philippians 4:19 AMP) When you want to pray for protection for yourself and your loved ones, you can say, "Lord, on the basis of Your Word, I ask that You give Your angels charge over us to guard us in all our ways." (Psalm 91:11) When I need specific guidance in a situation, I often say, "Lord, I claim Your promise which says that whenever I need wisdom, all I have to do is ask You for it in faith." (James 1:5-6) Since Scripture says, "Put the Lord in remembrance of His promises," I sometimes pray: "Lord, I put You in remembrance of Your promise to make me abundantly prosperous in every work of my hand." (Isaiah 62:6 AMP; Deuteronomy 30:9 AMP) Are you eager to see God's purpose for your life fulfilled? Then you can pray with confidence, "Lord, I ask that You fulfill Your purpose for my life, for it is written, 'The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.'" (Psalm 138:8 NIV) What are your personal needs today? Dig into God's Word, and begin claiming His powerful promises for your own!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to abide in You and Your Word continually, so that I will always be attuned to Your perfect will. Help me to make my prayers promise-centered from now on, instead of problem-centered. Thank You that as I claim Your promises in faith, I will live the supernatural, abundant life that belongs to me in Christ!
- J. M. Farro