Wednesday: The Foundation of Biblical Prayer – Claim God’s Promises

All faith is useless if we do not claim the things for which we have prayed.

Read 1 John 5:14-15. What is the reason that we can be confident that God hears us and that we receive what we have requested from Him?

Pray and Claim God's Promises

Image © Kevin Cardin

The third aspect of Bible prayer is reception. After asking God and believing His promises, we need to claim what He has promised. We claim God’s promise and, in faith, we thank Him for it, even before we have received it. Thus the promises are applied to our heart. Ellen G. White said that “for any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received.” – Education, p. 258.

In Luke 8:11 Jesus compares the Word of God to a seed. In the same way that the whole apple tree is contained in an apple seed, the gift of God is contained in His promises. When we claim the promise and thank God for it, we already possess the gift He has promised. We receive the promised gift by faith even before we might feel or see it.

The example of the resurrection of Lazarus in John Chapter 11 illustrates that Jesus prayed in this way. Jesus knew exactly what God’s will in this situation was. John 11:11 tells us that He was willing to do God’s will and that He was obedient. In John 11:39-41, we read that Jesus thanked the Father in advance that He would resurrect Lazarus, even though Lazarus was still in the grave. When Jesus had thanked God, He did receive the fulfillment of His request. As God’s children we are to live on God’s promises, not on His explanations. Even though we can’t explain everything, we can trust His promises.

“The Lord says, ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble.’ Ps. 50:15. He invites us to present to Him our perplexities and necessities, and our need of divine help. He bids us be instant in prayer. As soon as difficulties arise, we are to offer to Him our sincere, earnest petitions. By our importunate prayers we give evidence of our strong confidence in God. The sense of our need leads us to pray earnestly, and our heavenly Father is moved by our supplications.” – Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 172.

Why is it so important to always bring everything to God in prayer?


Wednesday: The Foundation of Biblical Prayer – Claim God’s Promises — 28 Comments

    • Faith: I am confident that God will answer my prayer according to what He knows is best for me (Romans 8:28)... according to His will.

      Presumption: I am confident that God will answer my prayer according to what I think is best for me... according to MY will.

      • Thank you, Sieg. I guess I'm doing okay then. I always want God's will over my own - He's so much smarter than I am!

  1. We have entered into an Everlasting loving Covenant (relationship) with the LORD.
    Communication is essential in a relationship in good times and bad.

  2. It is always important to bring everything to God in Prayer...Because God is the way the truth and the light. He never lies and can be trusted to deliver on His promises. He will lift our burdens for He is our saviour, trusting in Him brings about a deliverance that is not only spiritual but supernatural in nature. Praise be to God Oh Lord most high.

  3. I bring everything to God in prayer because I believe that He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He can do what i cannot do for myself. I believe He loves me and that He will always act/answer with my best interests at heart.

  4. "ABC's of Bible Prayer" is a tiny book by the late Glenn Coon that helps in practical and easy way to understand the simple principle of the "science of prayer" and have our prayers answered. Yes, prayer is a science. The formula is: Ask, Believe, Claim.

    EGW confirms prayer is a science. She wrote: "In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. Christ says, 'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them'. Mark 11:2" Education pg 257. Actually, read the whole chapter; chapter 30 starting at pg 253.

    The easy one in the formula is the "asking" ...if done correctly. See below, keep reading

    The "Believe" is where we begin to have problem and apply "doubt" instead. The "Claim" part is where we have the biggest challenge.

    There are three "shocking facts" on how our Heavenly Father react to our prayers because we are His CHILDREN: (Who are God's children? Rom 8:14-16 "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children")

    ...Here are the pleasant facts for us God's children:

    1. God ALWAYS hears our prayers -1 John 5: 14-15
    2. God ALWAY answers our prayers -John 15:7
    3. God ALWAYS answers our prayer with a "YES" -Matt 7:9-11

    The 1, 2, 3 above goes with the A, B, C = Ask, Believe, Claim

    It may be hard to accept that our Father ALWAYS answer our prayer with "Yes". He never, never, ever answers with a "No". But this his is how our Heavenly Father answers our prayers:

    1. YES, right away my child. I was eagerly waiting for you to ask me so I could give it to you
    2. YES, but let's wait a bit for the perfect timing for me to give it to you. It will be the time you yourself will choose if you could see it from where I am
    3. YES, in fact, I have something way better for you than what you are asking now. Something that if you could see it from where I am, is that "something better" I will give to you.

    Yes, there are conditions to be fulfilled on our part, and these are the conditions:

    We must first Ask. But we must ask correctly; we must ask according to God's will and His will are His PROMISES, otherwise He will not promise us if He didn't wanted to give and fulfill His promises to us to start with. By ASKING, we fulfill that part of the formula. Then, go and do the same with the "Believe" and the "Claim" parts. Simple and easy as that. There is no mystery into it. The challenge must of us have is with the "Believing" and "Claiming" which there is not mystery at all with it whatsoever.

    There are 3,573 promises in the Bible for ANY SITUATION! Promises for us to Claim, but we must first Ask and then Believe it will be done -a done deal- and then to Claim them and, thanking The Lord as DONE! It doesn't matter what situation is. ...and an excuses like "there is not a promise in the bible regarding college." But there is a promise that fits into that, and/or any situation.

    If we cannot find nor see any promise to claim for a specific situation, we just need to ask God to tell us what promise to claim for a specific situation, and He will tell us. Here is just one promise of many to claim to God to open our eyes so we can find and see the specific promise that we need to claim for a specific situation: “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight.” Isaiah‬ ‭42:16‬ ...It is so because God say so and He doesn't lie (By the way, that promise can be applicable to thousands of different situations like the college situation above)

    If we believe that there is iniquity in our lives, or cherished sin(s), or committed the unpardonable sin, and because of it, God doesn't "hear" our prayers, the fact that we think on that, proves that God still considers us His child (prodigal son story?) and still He hears our prayer and telling us: "Actually my beloved child, I have something way better for you; the gift of repentance. Let's take care of that first and then the other request"... and there are promises for the gift of repentance: Rom 2:4, Act 11:18, Rev 3:19, 2 Peter 3:9 ...among others. ....And we must have our "ear" tuned to listen to His answer(s).

    Ask, Believe, Claim. Be sure you understand that our Heavenly Father always hears your prayers and He always answers you with:

    "Yes my child; I love you so much my child; I just cannot deny your requests, and I will give you something way better if that's what it fits, something you yourself will choose if you could see from where I am.. I always listen to your prayers, and I always will answer you with a: Yes! I love you so much my child...!"

    Blessings ?
    Moderator Note: You can also get the Amazing Facts reprint of the book, and the book The Science of Prayer- Its ABC's at Alternately, you can read/download the book at

    • We got Glenn Coon's books many decades ago when he was still alive and traveling around, giving his seminars. There is much good in the books, but I want to issue one caution:
      Prayer is not a "science" like we normally think of science. God is not a vending machine into which we can put the correct promise and we get out just what we ordered. I believe that is not what Pastor Coon intended to teach either, but some have misinterpreted his teachings that way.
      Sine prayer is talking to God as to a Friend, the better we know our Friend, the better we will pray.

      Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him. (Steps to Christ, p. 93)

    • Eli, thank you for sharing the positive way of understanding how God answers prayer. It is worth repeating:

      This his is how our Heavenly Father answers our prayers:
      1. YES, right away my child. I was eagerly waiting for you to ask me so I could give it to you
      2. YES, but let's wait a bit for the perfect timing for me to give it to you. It will be the time you yourself will choose if you could see it from where I am
      3. YES, in fact, I have something way better for you than what you are asking now. Something that if you could see it from where I am, is that "something better" I will give to you.

      • Ing, the part about answered prayer not being like a vending machine is similar to my thoughts. God is not impressed with our formulas to achieve what he asked us to do.

        • God being a vending machine? We even don't have anything of value to buy from Him to start with. Besides, it is ALL PAID UP! Jesus paid it all!

          If our Heavenly Father gave us His Son to pay for our salvation, how of more "insignificant" are all other things He want to give us? He tell us through His promises He is eager to give us all those blessings, and He Himself tell us how to go about it: ASK, BELIEVE, CLAIM. Simple as that! By not doing it, we are actually dishonoring Him

          We are not buying anything from our Heavenly Father, we are HONORING Him by holding on His promises following His own instructions: Ask, Believe, Claim

          • Eli, I appreciate your understanding of prayer and how God answers, and I believe it is biblical.

            However, there was a movement throughout Christendom that treated God a little like a vending machine: Pray in the right way or plug in the right promise, and the wanted answer is guaranteed. That is not biblical.

            Biblical prayer is part of a *relationship,* and it seems you understand that.

  5. The only way to stay closer and connected to God is through prayer and so everything must be brought to Him through prayer in faith. We cannot physically go to Him to ask but through prayer.

  6. Will someone kindly explain what it means to CLAIM the promises. l fear it has become a bit of a cliche word. If when l ask and believe GOD's promises specifically for my need will He not deliver according to His will if l do not go on to 'claim'?

    • Claim: The dictionary states the meaning but, here is an analogy to easy grab the meaning.

      Have you ever travel by airplane? After the flight ended, did you go to CLAIM your baggage?

      In prayer, the Claim is: give thanks to God for fulfilling the promise to you as a done deal... as if you have the "baggage" in your hands. Do not go by feelings, go by: The Lord says so, so, it is so because He doesn't lie. ....Remember when Jesus prayed just before Lazarus resurrected? Jesus "gave thanks to God as a done deal" for resurrecting Lazarus. It was God who resurrected Lazarus. Jesus didn't use His divine powers. That's claiming: thank to God for fulfilling his promise. Simple!

  7. Grappling with with the text in Mark 11:24 I have come up to some tentative conclusions trying to translate as best as I could to share it in class, opening it up for discussion: "Therefore, I say unto you: All things, however great, you are constantly praying and asking for by yourself: keep on believing that you already have received it, and it shall happen to you."

    I noticed, there are three medial verbs in present tenses, denoting continuous actions done by oneself: Praying and asking. The third verb is urging on to steadily believe that the believer already has received the prayer request prior to actual future fulfilment. This would denote absolute certainty and assurance of prayer request to be granted. The third verb, translated with "that you already have received it" represents a so called "aorist" denoting a singel action at any point of time; in this case, a single action during the present time of continual praying and asking.

    It is interesting to note that the Septuagint at times is using the so called "aorist" to denote absolute present certainty of future prophecy to be fulfiled: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." (Isaiah 9:6). The hebrew prophetic perfect as a completed action is translated by the Septuagint with so calleld "aorist".

    On the whole, it seems, inasmuch as Isaiah is absolutely certain of prophetic future fulfilment, expressing it in such a way that the fulfilment seems to be already consummated now, although that consummation in fact takes place in future time; in a similar way Mark 11:24 is expressing absolute assurance of prayer request now, even if the actual fulfilment takes place in future.

    The context of Mark 11:24 would also have to be sonsidered, speaking of removing mountains (of difficulties opposing the kingdom of God, Mark 11:23), or even the duty of forgiveness over against those who have injured and wounded us, which also my turn out to be a difficult mountain to be removed from our soul in order to be free from remorse (Mark 11:25). It seems to me that these prayer requests in Mark 11:24 are focusing at spiritual prayer requests, also not to be limited to these issues.

    Winfried Stolpmann

  8. Winfried, I have several questions. The first one is, has anyone looked at context? The admonition in Mark 11:24 was given in response to a question posed by Peter. Mark 11:20,21.

    The Disciples asked why are things taught in parables. Later they understood and were glad that Jesus was explaining in a way that they understood.

    I believe God knows us better than we know our selves. I also believe our Hope is in our Almighty God that knows how to give the right gifts, no matter when or how we ask. Matt 7:11. Phil 4:19. Phil 4:6.

  9. So often we come to God knowing too much. We are too wise -too mature. Was it not Jesus who said: "Except you become like a little children..."?

    Yes, prayer is a relationship. My fault for not pointing it out as assuming it is a "taken" that prayer is a relationship. For the ABC to take place such relationship must be in place.

    The prayer of reception is encouraged by God Himself when he gives the how to go about: Ask, Believe, Claim

    There are other types of prayers: thanksgiving, praise, interceding, conversational, etc ...diferente types of prayer and all of them has it foundation on our relationship with God.

    How can anyone "convince" others that Asking, Believing, Claiming, the promises that God Himself give us when praying a "reception type of prayer" is not biblical when their prayers are answered and a closer relationship with God keeps increasing?

    Must of my prayers are thanksgiving, praise and conversational type of prayers. Once in a while I pray a reception type of prayer following God's instructions on them: Ask, Believe, Claim

    • Eli, I've been agreeing with you. 🙂 I just want to be sure people do not misapply the "ABC's" as others have done in the past.

      However, I think that dividing prayer up into different categories of prayer makes a conversation with God more complicated than it really is. (I'm keeping in mind that prayer is talking to God as to a friend.) Is telling God you "claim" His promises not conversation? Is it not conversation when you remind a friend of a promise s/he made? Or do you have to call it a "dialogue of reception"? 😉

      Jesus taught us to pray as talking to our Father. In humble confidence we can know that He loves us and wants to supply all our needs, according to His promises. (Phil 4:19) I believe we need to apply "claiming" aspect of prayer first of all to the promise of forgiveness. (1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:12) This promise is clear and conditioned on nothing other than our confession of sin and our need. Unfortunately that's also the promise that too many people have trouble believing - as is evident even in comments on this blog.

      Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to God. (Steps to Christ, p. 94)

      • Inge, we are on the same path with different "sunglasses tint" ?

        Yes, praying thanking the Lord, or interceding for someone else, or whatever our prayer is focused on (as claiming His promises following His instructions: ask, believe, claim) they are all "talking or conversational" and a relationship must develop for such to take place. Going through the book of Psalm, we can easy make a list of "different types of prayers"

        The "conversational type of prayer" I'm referring, to me, is my favorite of all. It is conversing with God as a "Real Daddy". In this prayer there are not the "asking, believing, claiming thingy" praying for someone else... no praising, no gratitude, etc.

        You talk to your "Dad" (our Heavenly Father) as you will talk or converse to someone else telling Him about your thought, feelings, etc, etc. (I grew up without a father figure in my life; just my mom and my siblings. At first was hard for me to relate having a father-son relationship, but my Heavenly Daddy fixed that)

        This "conversational" type of prayer allows to breaks the mold and be radical, moving out of the box from the traditional kneeling and closing your eyes, as you can pray while driving, walking (you need to see where you are going ??)... while you are doing the mundane things during the day like making your bed, or studying, or whatever.

        Example: Let's say you are in front of your computer doing programming. A code string develops making no sense. You then say to your Daddy in prayer: "Look at this code string, same as an earth worm without head and tail and two heads and two tails". ...5 min later began to rain and you "converse" to your Daddy and say: "Hmmm, I will take a break and go outside to get soaked by the rain you are sending us, and coming back we will find a way to put only one head and one tail to this code" ...and you run outside singing "Shower of blessings" ???

        As I finish typing this, I just prayed saying: "What amazing thing is technology allowing a friendship relationship with Inge and others"

        That's what I mean with "conversational" type of prayer. Many times I "feel" God "hugging me" when praying that way.

        Blessings ?

        • Thanks for sharing. 🙂

          Yes, we are on the same page in our experience of prayer.

          It is just that I understand *all* prayer as conversation with God - whether I'm praising, confessing, asking, thanking, sharing feelings, claiming His promises, etc. It's all part of a continuing relationship with God. When we recognize that Christ is always with us, as promised (Matt 28:20), we can talk to Him any time, anywhere.

          Some may be helped by doing some visualization:
          * When getting into your car, go around to the passenger and open the door to let Jesus in.
          * Set a plate for Jesus at the table.
          * Think of Jesus entering the door ahead of you, as you enter your place of work.
          * Set a chair for Jesus.
          * Imagine Jesus walking beside you - because He is.

          Sometimes when I have felt overwhelmed with problems, I have imagined myself just snuggled up in His lap like a little child, and let go of all that bothered me. After all, He encouraged us to relate to Him as little children, and He asked us to come to Him with our burdens.

          I'm hoping this may help someone to understand how to *converse* with God in prayer.

  10. Hi Eli. First and foremost l have really been blessed by your posts. Thank you for your explanations. Really love the one re the 'conversation to Daddy' prayer. However giving thanks is not the same as 'claiming the promise' I believe that we express our belief by giving thanks for answered prayer, even before we see the fulfilment.

    However there is still a gap in my understanding. Where exactly in the Bible does it say 'claim' the promises of GOD? I read about asking and believing and we shall receive. Not asking, believing AND claiming to receive. I wonder whether by we have inadvertently added another 'layer' to receiving GOD's promises? Also whether we are trying to squeeze the Bible to fit into the ABC formula? Yours and the thoughts of others would be greatly appreciated, especially regarding actual scriptural references to claiming in addition to asking and believing, as this is still some confusion in my mind.

    • Hi Marcia,

      The exact word "claim" or "claiming" connected with the words "Ask and Believe", regarding praying "claiming" promises, is not found in the Bible, yet, the concept is Biblical in the same exact way the the word "trinity" is not found in the Bible when referring to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet, it is Biblical, and same with other words as "Millenium" which is not found in the Bible neither.

      "Claim" is use to "simplify" the issue but sometimes is not clear because it involves few "items" wrapped within: Faith, Gratitude/Give thanks, peace and joy.

      Claim: state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence of proof (as Google dictionary)

      Just the word "thanks" in the "Claiming" gets beyond the mere "thank you". Two analogies to make the point of the Thank You and Claiming:

      1. You are a teen and you room is an amazing mess. You don't even see your bed, floor, dresser, chair, etc, because it all covered with clothing, sport items, paper, books, shoes get the idea. Your mom comes to you and say" Marcia, thank you for cleaning your room" Your first reaction is that someone else cleaned the room for you and your mom thinks you did, or, your mom so gracefully cleaned your room and giving you the credit. You run to your room expecting to see "heaven" and instead you find the big normal and natural mess as always. You then realized that that "thank you" means way more than just plain "thank you" It means that your mom is asking you to clean the room, that she is confidente you will clean your room and on top of that, she is thanking you for following through.

      2. You are a six year old and hear in the air that the Canadians are coming. You want to go and see the Canadians (the Canadian geese ????) You run to your mom and ASK her to take you to the nearby pond to see the Canadians geese. You mom says: "Sure, we will do it tomorrow" you then hug you mom so happy and say: "Thank you mom, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you hmmmm I love you mommy". You are just getting a PROMISE. You BELIEVE the promise will be fulfilled because you trust your mom that she follow through. It is a done-deal. You "CLAIM" it as yours already even tho you are not at the pond watching the Canadians. You already "own" the trip to the pond to see the Canadians, same as you CLAIM your head is yours and belong to you.

      In the process of Claiming, we thank the Lord, but, that "thanks" goes deeper and goes beyond the mere "Thank you" and that's why it doesn't "count" as a mere thanksgiving pray.

      We are encourage to give Thanks to the Lord for everything, including the things we didn't even ASK for it in prayer as claiming a promise. We should thank the Lord for the life, air, sunshine, coach, pencils, I mean, everything good we enjoy and even for the trails we didn't ask for it. We should pray with the Thanksgiving type of prayer. I thank my Heavenly Daddy for technology. I know that for the "mature generation" technology , they see it more a negative thing. I even remember comments in this forum saying technology takes us away from our relationship with God. In my personal case it has been totally the opposite. Technology is an indescriptible blessing in all the aspect of my life ...yes, including the spiritual. Among many, I listen often AudiVerse, a SDA app with hundred and hundred of sermons. I use the app "Scripture Typer" to easy memorize Bible verses, and the list can go long...

      Anyways, my point is, there are many types of prayer.

      The book of Psalms can help us to understand the types of prayers. Now, Marcia (and anyone else reading) here is a challenge for you. Psalm 23. What type of prayers is Psalm 23? Psalm 23 is one of the most comforting prayer ever. It is the one most used in funerals because of the comforting and peace that brings. Yet, if you notice carefully, Psalm 23 is NOT even praying TO God, but it is telling someone else about GOD to you or to us, yet, still is a prayer.... so, homework: What type of prayer is Psalm 23?

      On ending:
      The word CLAIM can be substitute for the word "RECEIVED" if that will make it easier to "see it" in the Bible. Mark 11:25 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ASK in prayer, BELIEVE that you have RECEIVED it, and it will be yours"


      • I just realized when I copied and pasted, a small section was not included regarding the second part of Psalm 23 which is talking to God (first part is talking to someone else about God)

  11. Pray that he enter not into temptation. Meditate on His Word. Ask and you shall receive. The Lord hears every prayer of those who turn to Him. Psalms 51:17. Jeremiah 29:12-13. Micah 7:7.

  12. Hi Eli
    I am so grateful that you have the patience and have taken the time to explain the concept of claiming. I believe you have teaching as one of your spiritual gifts. The part that particularly brought it home to me (at last - oh joy!) was actually your final paragraph below.
    "The word CLAIM can be substitute for the word "RECEIVED" if that will make it easier to "see it" in the Bible. Mark 11:25 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ASK in prayer, BELIEVE that you have RECEIVED it, and it will be yours""
    It became crystal clear when the word 'claim' is substituted for 'receive'
    Thank you once again and richest blessings as you continually receive the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT.

    • Hi Marcia,
      I'm happy The Lord used me to make it "crystal clear". All the honor and glory to our Heavenly Daddy... 100%, all the credit to Him ?


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