Prayers that Spring from Promises

As an event planner, I am often tempted to worry as I look toward upcoming conferences. Silly questions (that don't sound so silly in my head) come to mind and plague my heart:

  • "Will people want to come? Will the conference be a blessing to them? Will the event be edifying and God-glorifying?"
  • "Did we do enough promotion? What if no one finds out about it? What if the Google Ads don't work?"
  • "What about all the things yet to be done? What if we can't get all the projects done on time?"
  • "Will we meet budget? What if things end up costing more than we thought?"

And so I have to battle against the temptation to sin by casting my cares on the Lord through prayer and his Word.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

So how do we pray in such a way that the worry fades and the anxious thoughts dissolve into strong confidence in God? I think one answer is this: anchor our prayers in the promises of God.

Another way to say it: Anxiety-defeating prayers spring from promises.

As the DG staff met last week to pray for the upcoming DG 2008 National Conference, I tried to illustrate this in a simple way.

prayer requests on a whiteboard

The Lord impressed on my heart the awesome promise of Isaiah 41:10.

  • God is with us
  • He is our God
  • He is our strength
  • He is our help
  • He upholds us with his righteous right hand

What an amazing word! Our faith rests in God—who he is and all that he has promised to be. And from that mighty promise springs forth all of our prayers about the stuff written in red on that marker board. These are the things we would otherwise be tempted to worry about, but when our prayers are informed by good news like Isaiah 41:10, the silly voice of anxiety is silenced.

Scott Anderson (@anderson_scott) is the Executive Director of Desiring God.