Affirmative praying

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

May/June 2016 Issue –  The Presence of God‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11

The text set for today’s reading and meditation (the key verse is highlighted):

Psalm 107:1-22 (NIVUK): ”Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.

So he subjected them to bitter labour; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank-offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.”

Today’s study, I believe is quite important because it underlines the importance of having confidence in God’s Word as recorded in the Bible.

Selwyn starts by saying: “Another thing we can do to sharpen our awareness of God in our lives is to pray in the affirmative way. The concept underlying this is, I believe, a biblical one. Praying in the affirmative way is not asking for something to be so; it is proclaiming that a matter is exactly the way God has decreed it.

You see, there are some things in the Christian life that we do not need to ask for at all – they are part and parcel of God’s provision for us as His children. And the promise of God’s continued presence is one of them.

Earlier we looked at a number of verses from Scripture that confirm this, such as Hebrews 13:5, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’

This verse and others give us the guarantee that once we surrender our lives to God and are His committed sons and daughters then His presence will be in and around us every moment of the day. (Therefore) instead of praying, ‘O God, be with me through every moment of this day.’ say, ‘Thank You, Father, that You are with me right now.’

It is not wishful thinking to say that God is with you. It is the affirmation of a great and wonderful biblical truth.”

Today, I’ve quoted a lot of what Selwyn has written because this issue is important and it is essential that we have a clear view of affirmative praying. However, it is equally important that our affirmative praying is actually based on biblical truth, and this means that we should acquire a good working knowledge of what is contained in Scripture.

To gain a good knowledge of Scripture also means that we should read it on a regular basis and to share our thoughts with other Christians, especially through forums like organised Bible studies. What do you think?