A promise is only as good as the person who makes it. The character of the promiser is what gives the promise its value.
As we learn to pray God’s promises, the starting point is the nature of God.
The essence of God’s character is in itself a promise. Who He is determines what He will do and how He will act. Through the Scripture, each time God reveals something of His nature, He is promising us that He will be true to that nature in any circumstance. Sometimes the promises of God don’t come packaged in declarative statements, but instead are implied in the revelation of His being.
God has always dealt with His people by communicating promises to them. By promising first, then performing what He has promised, He awakens in us the desire and expectation that find their outlet in the prayer of faith. His promises prompt prayer.
I might illustrate that process like this. Recently, I saw an ad in a magazine for noise-cancelling headphones. Until seeing that ad, I had no desire for noise-cancelling headphones. I did not experience the lack of noise-cancelling headphones in my life. But once I knew they were available, I began to desire them. I began to notice how loud the world was and to imagine how it might be if only I had noise-cancelling headphones. Knowing they were available awakened in me the desire to possess them. Knowing where to find them motivated me to seek them out.
God makes promises to us for much the same reason.
He is letting us know what He has available if only we will ask. His promises are meant to ignite faith and expectation and desire, and then to point us to Him. His promises act to bind our hearts to His. His promises turn our eyes toward Him.
He works in our lives by means of promising and then performing what He promises because it causes us to stay focused on Him and to find the bedrock of our faith in His character. When our hearts are occupied with who He is, it will not be hard to believe what He promises to do. The revelation of His person is the secret to trusting His promises.