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PROMISES OF GOD

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PRAYING GOD'S PROMISES 

Scriptures: Jeremiah 33:1–3; Ephesians 3:14–21

Memory verse: Jeremiah 33:3
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Lead—In

The title of our study today is "Praying God's Promises." Prayer is engaging the Lord in conversation, offering praise, thanks and making requests. God's promises are declarations that something will or will not be done.

Promises create expectation. Promises give assurance that what has been offered will surely be given. Promises are a commitment one can depend on.

When making an agreement with someone, we like to hear them say, "I promise you." Their promise seals the agreement. For instance, another student asks to borrow your dictionary for the evening. You respond by asking him, "Do you promise to return it tomorrow morning?" He responds, "I promise." The agreement is made and the dictionary loaned for an evening.

Ask: Have you ever asked someone to make a promise to you? Did he keep his promise? (Allow responses.)

Hearing God's Word

The Bible is filled with God's promises to all of us. He has given His word about things that will or will not be done. How do we know He will keep His promise? Is He really able to do what He says He is going to do? There are so many promises God has made. Does He have the ability to fulfil His promises to each of us? The answer is "YES!"

God's Promises Backed by God's Greatness

The country of Israel was going through difficult days. The prophet Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the soldiers. Then, the word of the Lord came to him a second time. It is a promise from God for His people. However, before Jeremiah shares it with them, he first clarifies a basic truth:

"This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name..." (Jeremiah 33:2).

Jeremiah wanted to remind the people that the promise he was about to share with them was really good news. Why? Because the one making it was the creator God! If the Lord could bring the earth into existence and maintain it, He was certainly capable of keeping His promise. God always backs up His promises with His greatness.

Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Praying God's Promises

God's promises are true. We can trust Him to fulfil His promises because He is great, the Almighty God!

Since we have assurance and confidence that we can count on God to keep His word, it is to our benefit to lay our prayers on top of His promise. I call this procedure, "Praying God's Promises." I would like to demonstrate this way of praying using God's promise in Ephesians 3:20. I trust it will be helpful.

An Example: Ephesians 3:20

"Now to him"
I come to you, Lord. Thank you for receiving me. I have some things on my heart that I want to share with you.

"Who is able"
I know you created the universe and have a plan for everyone living on the earth. You have all power and authority in heaven and on earth. You know all things. Nothing is hidden from you. Nothing is impossible for you to achieve.

"To do immeasurably more"
Lord, you are a God of abundance. You are so generous when answering my prayers. It is like when Jesus fed the 5,000. It was more than enough.

"Than all we ask or imagine"
Here in your presence, I consider it a privilege to ask, to present my need to you. My school fees are due by the end of the week. Paying them will permit me to take the exams. I am asking for your help. I do not know how you will do it, Lord, but I am confident the money will be available at just the right time. I thank you in advance for making it possible for me to continue my education.

"According to his power that is at work within us"
Jesus, when I accepted you as my personal Saviour, you took away by sin and transformed me. Your Spirit came to live within me. Because you live in me, I know my request for school fees will be met.

"To him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus"
Next Sunday, I hope to share with my pastor and youth group how you answered my prayer. We will honour you and worship you for your generous provision.

"Throughout all generations, for ever and ever!"
Lord, I will be careful not to take any credit for myself. I will always give the glory to you and praise you for caring for me in such a wonderful way.

"Amen."
So be it, Lord!

Accepting God's Word

(As a teacher, it would be good for you to select one of God's promises and practice praying through that promise. Then, be prepared to share it with the class at this time.)

Ask: What is one of your favourite promises in the Bible? (Allow responses.)

(Choose one or two of the promises selected by the students. Practice with them so they will get the idea. Ask them to pray a promise each day during the coming week. Next week, discuss with them how this method worked for them. Let them share with the group any answers to prayer that they received.)

A closing promise from God for the students: "For no word from God will ever fail" (Luke 1:37).

Present the information about the Zigula tribe given below. Show the video, if possible.

Meet the Zigula

LOCATION

Tanzania 672,000

RELIGION

Islam: 90%
Born-again Believers: 5.0%

SEE THE VIDEO
http://linkupafrica.com/media-gallery/detail/70/1122

Departing early in the morning from Tanga, Tanzania, the driver, who was my tour guide, and I drove south along the coast to the town of Pangani. After crossing the Pangani River by ferry, we soon entered Zigula country.

The fertile Pangani River valley was utilized by an estate for growing sisal. The road runs parallel to the ocean on the left and the sisal estate on the right. The estate includes hundreds of acres and extends for about 30 miles. The sisal is farmed and harvested by hand. 

The workers are primarily Zigula and Makonde. The diminishing sisal market has created a movement of Makonde labourers from the south to the Pangani estate. The sisal is cut one blade at a time, the sharp tip sliced off and the stalks stacked like cords of firewood. The hundreds of workers involved rely upon the estate to care for all their needs. 

Since the local population consists of several tribal groups, we continued south to the Sadani Game Reserve to contact some more of them. Driving west along its southern border for about 25 kilometres, we located a pure Zigula village of about 600 people. It is the poorest village we discovered along the entire coastline. All the buildings are constructed from mud except for the small, relatively new, primary school.

ASSESSMENT

Stopping at the market area in the centre of the village, we met a man who volunteered to lead us to the village chairman. Introductions were given and our reason for coming presented. The chairman was quick to agree to a tour, so I asked to take a picture of his two wives and children. 

In the process of taking pictures of the family, I inquired as to the purpose of a basketful of various types of what appeared to be musical shakers. "I use them to drive away evil spirits," he said. It was evident that not only did he serve as village chairman but also as the village witch doctor. 

APPEAL

We soon learned that the village was Islamic, but even the sheik came to the witch doctor for cures. It was clear that Islam was a pseudo-religion, and animism was the primary faith. Islam appeared to be little more than taking Muslim names and wearing prayer hats. 

The Zigula are searching for something to fill the emptiness in their hearts. Believers in Christ Jesus can do something about satisfying their need.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for the Zigula Tribe

1. Plantation workers to receive a gospel witness,
2. Power of Jesus to be shown greater than power of witch doctor,
3. Messengers of the gospel to live out their faith among the people.

Prayer Promise

"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

MORE INFORMATION: www.linkupafrica.com

 

Remember: PRAYING GOD'S PROMISES

Memory verse: Jeremiah 33:3
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

1. All God's promises in the Bible are for me.
2. God is great and able to keep His promise.
3. May I have the courage to believe God's promises and see miraculous answers to my prayers.

Pray for the Zigula tribe.

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Study 11 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach

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