The Secret of Answered Prayers- Part 2: Praying Into a Covenant

A covenant is much like a contract. If one party will fulfill their obligation, the other party will fulfill theirs. If the Lord makes a covenant with you, the Lord will keep His part of the covenant if you keep yours. His part may not be completed in your lifetime. You have to step out in faith.

The first covenant is in Genesis. Adam and Eve had a beautiful Garden and fellowship with God. In return, they were forbidden to eat of a certain tree. That was their covenant. They violated the covenant and ate from the tree. They lost the Garden and the intimate relationship with God. Then God gave them an unconditional promise – God would send His son to restore that relationship.

Abraham was given a promise of this coming Christ that would restore the relationship would be birthed from his descendants, and this Christ would be for all people. This was a faith step, as God’s part of the covenant would not be completed in Abraham’s lifetime. In fact we see this promise given inside of a covenant relationship over and over again in the Old Testament. None of those lived to see the completion of the promise. They did, however, receive their inheritance by living into the covenant on faith (Hebrews 11).

After Abraham we see Moses leading from a covenant relationship He had with God. Even though the Israelites failed in their calling over and over again, Moses would intercede and claim the covenant. In Numbers 14, we see Moses with an astonishing prayer. God would destroy the nation, but Moses intercedes, claiming the covenant, and moves the very finger of God and saves the nation.

Later, after the Israelites spent seventy years in captivity for their apostasy, Nehemiah has a burden to lead the nation back. We see him praying in Nehemiah 1. There is nothing in that chapter, however, about the wall he will soon be leading in building. The prayer is interesting in that he first repents not only for himself but also intercedes, like Moses, for that nation. Then he claims authority in his prayer for the covenant God made with Moses. He stands in that authority as he leads the nation back and initiates the rebuilding. (Ezra was also a key figure here.)

And God completed his part of the covenant. He did send Jesus to restore the relationship so we can have intimacy with God. The New Testament shows the completion of the covenant. The Covenant of Law becomes now a Covenant of Grace.

In the history of our own nation, what is the covenant that the founders had with God? Was there one? When the Puritans came, this was the first settlement that survived after multiple earlier settlements had failed. Why did the Puritans survive? What was different? (See Carl’s book Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality).

When we lead and pray from a covenant relationship, there is a vision of what God has done, is doing, and will do. Read Deuteronomy 11 to see a sermon of Moses on how he led doing that. There is also a burden on the leader’s part for the vision, and he or she is constantly praying and acting into the vision and claiming the covenant.

Today, with the massive darkness prevailing in the leadership in Washington, I believe that God will honor His promise and covenants with those that birthed this nation. Educational leaders have obliterated the true stories of the birthing of America from our children. Some teachers and schools have carried these stories forward, however. We can pray into these promises and covenants and claim them for America today. God will honor those prayers. The war America has to fight today is not in Afghanistan, or Syria, or Pakistan. It is in the hearts of each of us.

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Comments

  1. Our most consistent covenant model is found in the sacrament, which is a precise covenant ordinance. Following the same six elements, we first come together to renew our covenants. The sacrament hymn then provides the historical framework as we come out of a worldly environment (and our wondering why the bishop called that person to the calling we just sustained), and our thoughts are turned to places like Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the Garden Tomb. In the precise wording of the sacramental prayers, we agree to take Christ’s name upon us, to always remember him, and to keep his commandments. The sacrament covenant is not only witnessed by the priesthood leaders, but we witness it to each other as we individually partake of the bread and water. Those around us can see and witness that we have done an external act as a symbol of an internal commitment. A wonderful blessing, the companionship of the Holy Spirit, is promised in the prayers. Once we have experienced that blessing, to lose the Spirit is indeed a curse. And, finally, partaking of the sacrament is the latest renewal of our covenant relationship with God.

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