Boldness in prayer comes from having a knowledge of something called “binding precedent.” If you can grasp this truth, it will forever change the way you pray. A precedent is a “preceding case” that serves as an example in subsequent cases. And a “binding precedent” is a legal decision made in the past that becomes an authoritative rule for similar cases in the future. For judges, this means having to stand by a decision that has already been made.
Good lawyers regularly rely on “binding precedent” for their cases because they know a precedent will stand up in court. They search their law books to find favorable cases from the past that can fortify their arguments in court, and they also seek out the counsel of skilled legal advisors who point out precedent decisions to pertain to their own case.
All through the Bible we find holy men and women who seek out this kind of “binding precedent.” A perfect example of this is King Jehoshaphat. When Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah, he faced an invasive army. The nation trembled helplessly before this mighty force, so Jehoshaphat “set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (2 Chronicles 20:3). The people prayed, fasted, interceded and repented — and the king brought God’s “precedent mercies” up before him:
“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” (20:6). Jehoshaphat was binding God to his past mercies: “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?” (20:7).
Jehoshaphat reminded God, “Lord, you gave your people an eternal word, and I bring it before you now. The promises you made to Abraham and our fathers are still binding on you to fulfill for us.” Of course, God answered Jehoshaphat, and Judah’s enemy was defeated. God was bound to his own Word.
Be bold in prayer today and watch him fulfill his promises in your life.