Pray about everything. God is both a promising God and a giving God. If something is big enough to worry about, it is big enough for prayer. Apart from the Psalms, there are 650 prayers recorded in Scripture with 450 answers. God answers prayer. He fulfills His promises. He keeps His covenant. And He uses prayer as a part of that process.[1] There are 7,959 promises in the Bible. If we use one promise each day it will take us 22 years to use each of the promises once.[2] Caleb lived 40 years on one promise. How many years can we live on 7,959 promises? Armin Gesswein said:

Promises predict the answers to prayer. They are the molds into which we pour our prayers. They foretell what to expect. They shape our praying. They motivate, direct and determine our supplication…This makes Christian praying different! How? In a very real sense we pray from the answer…with the answer in mind…from the answer to it. This is the way of The Lord, the way of faith. He promises – we believe. We act on His Word. In this way answered prayer not only satisfies us; it delights the Heart of God by fulfilling His Own Word. And this is a most important thing with God.[3]

When you are praying for a certain thing, search the Scripture, and see what God has promised. Then pray the Scripture. Stand on the promise. Jeremiah (33:19-27) declared that God’s promises to David were as dependable as the rising and setting sun.

If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time then My covenant with David My servant can be broken.

The Scripture makes it clear, “God is not a man that He should lie nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19).

D.L. Moody once said, “Tarry at a promise and God will meet you there.” Armin Gesswein, early in his ministry, discovered a principle that changed his ministry. He was a 24-year-old church planter on Long Island. What he found was called the “prayer meeting truth” of Acts. The prayer meeting he started was the first one he ever attended. An elderly Methodist man came into the meeting one night, Ambrose Whaley.

Gesswein said, “When he prayed I detected something new. I had never heard praying like that.” The prayers and the answers were not far apart. Gesswein examined his lack, knowing his heart was fervent, but something was missing. The old Methodist was praying with a confidence the young church planter lacked.

The Holy Spirit was right here, in action, giving him assurance of the answer even while he was praying! When I prayed, God was ‘way out there’ listening in the distance somewhere. The answer, too, was in the distance, totally unreachable.

Eager to learn, Armin went to see “Uncle Am” as he was called, a retired blacksmith and lay preacher. “Uncle Am, I would love to pray with you.” The old man rose immediately. He led the young preacher across a driveway, into a barn, and up a ladder into a haystack! There, amidst the hay, were two Bibles, one laying open. He had never seen the likes, “What is this?” Am gave no explanation, he simply invited Armin to pray.

“I poured out my heart, needs, burdens, wishes, aspirations, ambitions to God.” And then, Am prayed. Armin said, “There was ‘that difference’ again.” Both men were on their knees in the hay, “Uncle Am, what is it? You have some kind of secret in praying. Would you mind sharing it with me?” Armin recalls, “I was 24. He was 73. With the look of an eagle in his eye, he urged, ‘Young man, learn to plead the promises of God!’” That insight changed Armin forever. He would become legendary in his prayer walk. And he would confess, “My praying has never been the same since. That word completely changed my understanding of prayer. It really revolutionized it! I ‘saw it’ as soon as he said it.” Before,

When I prayed there was fervency and ambition…but I lacked faith. ‘Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door.’ There must be faith. Where does that come from? From hearing…the Word of God. Uncle Am would plead Scripture after Scripture, reminding God of promise after promise, pleading these like a lawyer does his case, the Holy Spirit pouring in His assurance of being heard. This man knew the promises ‘by the bushel.’ He did not seem to need those Bibles in that hay! I soon learned that he was a mighty intercessor. He prayed ‘clear through.’ He prayed using the Bible as a basis on which his prayers were built. He taught me the secret of intercessory praying.[4]

Armin recalled,

With this discovery, God gave me a new Bible! I had not yet learned how to make the Bible my prayer book. I began to ‘dig in’. I would now search the Scriptures…meditate…mark its many promises…memorize, memorize, memorize! There are thousands of promises; a promise for every need, burden, problem, situation.[5]

“Young man,” Am urged, “Learn to plead the promises of God!” Armin would say, “These words keep ringing in my soul!” As you read the Bible, underline the promises. Remember, God keeps His promises (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 10:23; Isaiah 46:11; Psalm 89:34-36; Isaiah 30:18).

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P. Douglas Small is founder and president of Alive Ministries: PROJECT PRAY and he serves in conjunction with a number of other organizations. He is also the creator of the Praying Church Movement and the Prayer Trainer’s Network. However, all views expressed are his own and not the official position of any organization.

[1] Mike MacIntosh. Falling in Love with Prayer (Colorado Springs, CO: Victor Books, 2004), 17-18.

[2] Eddie Smith. How To Be Heard in Heaven (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2007), 56.


[4] Quoted by D.L. Moody. See

[5] Ibid.