Call upon God, adore, confess,
Petition, plead, and then declare
You are the Lord's; give thanks and bless,
And let the Amen confirm the prayer. ~Isaac Watts
The sixth item of prayer in this poem by Watts is what he would call profession or self-dedication, or, to use the word from the poem, declaration: “declare you are the Lord’s.”
In his Guide to Prayer, Watts explains declaration in prayer along four lines. First, in our prayers to God, we speak to Him what it means for us to be His children. In doing so, we can describe ourselves in all the ways that Scripture describes us as those who are savingly related to Him. We acknowledge and describe our relationship to Him.
Second, we can specifically describe what took place when we were first saved. We remember the darkness and sin from which we were saved and declare that we are new creatures who are meant to be more conformed into the image of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Third, we can reaffirm our relationship to Him. We renounce in the present whatever sins may have defiled our relationship to Him or idols that may have clouded our attention from fixing ourselves upon Him. We reaffirm who God saved us to be and commit ourselves again to living out His grace.
Fourth, we can declare what we will be in the future. Not only is there a point when salvation began, and not only does God continue to work His sanctification in our lives thereafter, but we will also be wholly rid of sin and finally sanctified when Christ comes again. We will be glorified and spotless. And we can ask God to make us now what we will be then because the Spirit that glorifies us then is at work in us for our salvation even now.
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.