Prayers in which promises of scripture are “claimed” have always fascinated me. Please understand I am not being critical of these prayers nor the pray-ers of these prayers. I am neither denying the validity of such prayers nor questioning the hearts of those praying. To the contrary, I think promise-claiming can enrich our prayer lives.
Such prayers simply fascinate me.
Usually the promise-claiming prayers are centered on prayers of healing or deliverance. While that can be good, I have sometimes wondered if we are not too selective in the promises we prayerfully claim.
Recently I heard a promise-claiming prayer unlike any other that I have heard before. The prayer reminded God of His promise to use hardships and trials to build character, strength, and faith. The prayer claimed not a promise of deliverance from problems, but a promise of pruning and shaping through the problems.
Here are a few of the passages alluded to in this prayer and a paraphrase of the promise-claiming prayers (to the best of my recollection). I hope these promises from God and the way they were claimed in prayer can deepen and enrich you prayer life.
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
God, thank You for the love You have shown by pouring out Your Holy Spirit into my heart. Please use my sufferings to produce perseverance, character, and hope.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”
God, please use the hardships I am in and the pressure that surrounds me to lead me to You. I cannot endure this situation on my own, my only hope is You. Please use this situation to take away my self-reliance, that I may rely solely on You.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
God, thank You for the great blessings You have given me. Please use my current struggles to keep me from becoming conceited. I want to be Your humble servant, God. May You be glorified in my weakness.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God, thank You for my current difficulties. Please use them to test and thereby strengthen my faith. Use this time of suffering to shape me into the mature, complete Christian that I want to be.
1 Peter 1:6-7
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
God, use these difficult times of suffering to purify my faith, that I may be more genuine before You. I want my life to be about bringing You praise, glory, and honor.