Every parent has heard it — the greatest of all appeals to justice: “You promised!” The promises of a responsible parent are not lightly made; therefore, the power of the appeal. As children of God, we can approach Him with this same confidence, for His Word is full of trustworthy promises founded upon His character and His power.
In Praying Over God’s Promises, Thomas Yeakley helps us to see that there are two types of promises in the Bible:
- General promises that are given to many people and for all time such as John 3:16.
- Specific promises that relate to a unique situation and time, and are impressed upon the heart of the reader by the Holy Spirit, resulting in inner peace or direction.
More subjective, specific promises require special discretion, but we are to both believe and act upon God’s general and specific promises. Yeakley fine tunes our listening to Scripture by sharing five means used by God to clarify His guidance:
- Clear commandments and principles from the Word of God. He will never contradict Himself!
- Inner conviction and peace from the Holy Spirit. He gives quietness to our souls.
- Wise counsel from mature believers.
- Critical thinking in the spirit of this comment by Dawson Trotman: “God gave you a lot of leading when He gave you a brain.”
- Providential circumstances in which God opens and also closes doors according to His will.
When claiming a Scriptural promise, it is wise to examine it in context, interpret the verses to identify what God is revealing about Himself and His purposes in the promise,and then apply the promise to your own life — or not! Herbert Lockyer has said, “While all the Bible was written for us, not all of it was written to us.”
Praying Over God’s Promises demonstrates the truth of Howard Hendricks’ words — “God’s promises are never broken by leaning upon them” — by sharing historical accounts of those who trusted the promises in the past, both in Scripture and in more recent history. It turns out that a pattern emerges in the prayers of our Scriptural forbearers, and it is characterized by an attitude of humility and courageous expectancy; confession of sin; specific communication from the heart; rehearsal before God of His character qualities and past faithfulness; and citing the promises of God’s Word.
Based on his own experiences, Thomas Yeakley exhorts his readers to be memorizing Scripture in order to meditate on the promises throughout the day. He underscores the necessity of patience, faith, and action on the part of the believer who prays, and warns his readers about common abuses such as prosperity theology, putting God to a test, selfish requests, and proof texting. Of special note, is the appendix which includes four pages with double columns of Biblical promises compiled by topic.
In praying for my children during times when I have been uncertain of God’s leading, I have personally experienced the truth that praying God’s promises will lead to a full display of God’s faithfulness. When we pray Scriptural promises we can rest assured that we are praying in His will, and that He will do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think” on our behalf.
This book was provided by NavPress in alliance with Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
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