How can we learn to pray with more confidence? Sometimes, we don’t know if we’re praying according to God’s will, so our prayers are tentative. And sometimes that’s fine.
But God also calls us to pray boldly. Azariah in the furnace shows us how.
Remember, Azariah was one of the three young men who Nebukadnezar sentenced to death in a fiery furnace because they wouldn’t bow to his gods.
Azariah tells Nebukadnezar, “God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace … but if not … we will not serve your gods or bow to them.” So he knows that God is able to deliver them. But even if God chooses otherwise, Azariah declares that God will get the glory.
Then we have Azariah’s bold prayer while he’s in the furnace. Let’s look at what he says and then we can apply the same principles to our lives:
For thy name’s sake do not give us up utterly, and do not break thy covenant, and do not withdraw thy mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham thy beloved and for the sake of Isaac thy servant and Israel thy holy one, to whom thou didst promise to make their descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the sand on the shore of the sea. And now with all our heart we follow thee, we fear thee and seek thy face. Do not put us to shame, but deal with us in thy forbearance and in thy abundant mercy. Deliver us in accordance with thy marvelous works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord! Let all who do harm to thy servants be put to shame;
- Admit that you’re needy.
- Invoke God’s mercy.
- Commit to God’s glory.
And, if you’ve committed yourself completely to God’s purposes, then know that your prayer can be all about his glory and your good–there’s no dichotomy between the two. Why wouldn’t he give away forward in a situation like that? He is more than able.
The next time you’re in a furnace, you can include these two verses from Azariah’s prayer, which is like a shorthand for the dynamic:
Do not put us to shame, but deal with us in thy forbearance and in thy abundant mercy. Deliver us in accordance with thy marvelous works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord!
Now go and desire bold things for God and pray boldly that he bless you!