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Have you ever made a promise to God? I surely have.
How about a promise attached to a prayer? Why do we try to beef up our prayers with overeager vows, as if this practice might add power to our petitions? Do we doubt that God’s grace is enough? Can we actually add anything to our prayers to convince God to act on our behalf, if He has not already determined to do so, on the basis of His great love alone?
What happens to our vows after the crisis has passed? Do we keep our promises to God or to one another?
How many broken promises have we suffered? How many have we made?
In the Bible book of Ecclesiastes, the following instruction appears:
“When you make a vow to God,
do not delay in fulfilling it.
He has no pleasure in fools;
fulfill your vow.
It is better not to vow
than to make a vow and not fulfill it.”
Vows can be dangerous stuff. Totally tall orders can be perilous. Isn’t it much more prudent to stand on God’s Word alone, rather than on our own worthless words? (Ow!)
God takes no pleasure in fools, but He loves sinners. In fact, He adores us. All He asks is our own repentance, as we recognize our need for His forgiveness. He has already paid the price, with His own blood, to buy us back from ourselves. What more could we possibly offer Him?
How can we not adore such a God? Why would we need a vow, if our hearts already belong to Him?
Will you pray with me?
And Holy One,
Guard our hearts.
Hold us back
From worthless words
And vagrant vows.
May our lives
Be devoted to You,
So we do not dishonor You
With faithless promises
And vain bartering.
The price has already been paid,
And we are eternally grateful.