Pleading The Promises

May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise
Psalm 119:41 (NIV)

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. 
Psalm 119:49-50 (NIV)

One of the strongest arguments children have to get something from their parents is for them to say, "But you promised mom!" Once we make a commitment to one or another of our children we need to be as good as our word.

Children recognize the truth that to make a promise means that the promise maker is obligated to fulfil their commitment. It happened to me a few years ago, when I promised to take several of my family to hear The Messiah in downtown Toronto. When I went on the net and found out the price for 6 tickets, I quickly realized it was well beyond my budget.

Happily for me I found an excellent choral group who were performing The Messiah much closer to home and for 1/5th of the price for the Toronto tickets. My day was saved and I was able to arrange to keep my commitment to my family. We all recognize the common sense in the need to keep our promises.

The remarkable Puritan commentator Matthew Henry once said that Christians need to "sue God for the performance of his promises". Henry was right on, and that is exactly what believers need to build into their prayers to the Lord.

Our verses for today illustrates the point Matthew Henry was trying to make. The ways he was pleading the promises were to remind God of His "unfailing love" for him, mention God's "promise" and His "word" and the promise to preserve the Psalmist's life.

So when we pray, we need to have specific promises from the Lord that we have found in Scripture. Then we recite the promise and ask the Lord to give us what He promised.

For example God promised us in Isaiah 43:2 (NIV) "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

Reciting this promise to the Lord and then pleading the promise means that we call on the Lord to prevent the enemy from overcoming us. It means calling on God to be faithful to the promise that we will not be swept away by the force of the tragedy we are facing. It means to ask God to prevent the flames from devouring us.

Will you come to the Lord today with this verse from Isaiah and call on Him to stop the destructive force of your difficulties? Ask the Lord to "remember" you. That means to fulfil His promises to you as His child. Remind Him that your hope is in Him. Tell Him you are His child and He is responsible for your care as any father is responsible for his children. This puts power into your prayers and you will experience the loving work of your Father in heaven blessing and providing for you right now.

Start suing God for the performance of His promises today!

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