Praying the Promises...
“The best praying man is the man who is most believingly familiar with the promises of God. After all, prayer is nothing but taking God’s promises to him, and saying to him, “Do as thou hast said.” Prayer is the promise utilized. A prayer which is not based on a promise has no true foundation.” Charles Spurgeon
During the Exile, 70 years the nation Israel was prisoner in Babylon, God promised extraordinary things to them. During a dark, difficult time, forcibly removed from their homeland and placed en masse in the strange and pagan city of Babylon, God promised life, blessings, and prosperity in their future. Prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel both heard from God and passed along these promises:
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people,and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:5-7
“‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:24-28
God kept his promises. As followers of Jesus in the new covenant, we also live by promise. Apostle Peter wrote this to disciples scattered around Asia and Europe:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,so that through them you may participate in the divine nature,having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4
During tribulation, like today, we must learn God's promises, stand on them, pray them and believe them. He is a faithful promise-keeper; never more than during a health-and-economic-crisis do we need to speak and trust his promises. Our God is good, and his mercy endures forever. Standing on the promises, Perry Floyd