Key Text: Matthew 7:7
Impossible Victories Become Possible
Jesus redeemed us so “that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14). But how do
we build faith in what He has promised? How should we pray so that we are sure of being filled with the Holy
Spirit? How does a revived heart lead to real-life Christian maturity?
For many years I knew about a devotional practice called “praying with promises,” but for a long time I did not
practice it. When I discovered the blessings of praying God’s promises, I wanted to share with others. Several years
ago I wrote a book called Steps to Personal Revival, which includes a chapter about how praying Scripture is the
key to practical Christian experience. Some readers sent these testimonies:
“I never thought I would find such new knowledge about prayer—praying based on God’s promises, as you
explained. In the meantime, God has given me victories in my life that I never thought possible.”
“Since I learned to pray with promises, my life has been transformed. . . . My wife has noticed a complete change in
me. Also, I’m surprised at myself.”
Try It Yourself
What does it mean to pray with promises? We choose a Bible promise or command and pray those words back to
God. We rely on Him to do as He promised. We allow Him to guide our prayers and speak to us through His Word.
And if we feel doubt—as everyone does at times—we point to the promises and claim them as God’s personal
guarantee. As we fill our hearts and prayers with Scripture, our faith is strengthened and we come to know God’s
mind as never before. Ellen White writes, “To blot the promises of God from the Word would be like blotting the
sun from the sky. . . . God has placed the promises in His Word to lead us to have faith in Him. In these promises
He draws back the veil from eternity” (My Life Today, p. 338).
The Bible offers clear guidance for our prayers. First, we are told to make our requests in the name of Jesus: “If you
ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14). God also gives a general promise that He answers prayers that
are according to His will: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His
will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14, 15). God reveals His will in the commands and promises of the Bible, and we can
rely on Him to do what He has promised. Verse 15 goes on: “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
What does that mean? When we pray for something that we know is according to God’s will, He is already
answering at the same moment. We may not see visible results yet. And usually we don’t notice anything
emotionally. But our prayers are answered by faith, not by our feelings. The feelings will follow later, but for now,
we trust the promise.
For example, I have learned something when praying with people addicted to alcohol and nicotine. At the
moment they pray for deliverance, they may not notice anything. They must receive the deliverance by faith. But
perhaps a few hours later they notice they don’t have the old craving for drinking or tobacco. At this moment, they
have received the practical deliverance requested in the prayer.
Ellen White also offers insights on praying with promises. “[God] is well pleased when they make the very highest
demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises” (The Desire of Ages, p. 668). “Plead for the Holy Spirit. God stands back of every promise He has made.
With your Bible in your hands say, I have done as Thou hast said. I present Thy promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given
you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ (Matthew 7:7)” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 147).
Jesus promises, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you
receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). Are you praying His promises every day? When we pray in His
name and according to His will, all heaven is moved!