I have learned over my 62 years of reading the bible, that there are two ways to approach God about my need or for obtaining His help. I can make a VOW, 0r I can approach Him in FAITH. A vow deals in ‘hope’. But you can’t make a ‘vow OF faith’, – or a ‘vow IN faith.’

I’ll explain the VOW approach: 

If I approach God with a request for help, and couple it with making Him a promise, it will sound similar to this;  EXAMPLE:  “Oh God, I believe you are out there somewhere, will you help me out of this mess I’m in?  I will always love you and I will follow your advice in the scriptures. I will do something for somebody, or I will stop doing this or that, or begin to do this or that, etcetera, etcetera….A’ vow’ will always ask God to move first, – with a following promise from us!

This method is called “making a vow” in the scriptures. It is a dealmaking approach, –  it is legal!  It was done several times by personalties in the bible and with desirable results.

This was done mostly in the First Testament under Moses law. Simply stated; – a vow is making a deal with God. We are asking Him to move first,- and then trust us to keep our promise. This is sometime referred to as a “foxhole prayer.” I.e; “…Oh God, if you will get me out of here alive, I promise I’ll do whatever you want me to do for the rest of my life.” There is no telling how many times this kind of prayer was used in ‘World War 11’. And no doubt, very often successful. The giant killer David, said these following words to God in Psalms; “…I will pay you my vows… which my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble.” It is an acceptable way to approach God.

However,- there is a downside to using this approach for help. It is our humanity! We make promises that we sometimes don’t keep -when once the heat is off.  We’re imperfect humans, and we can forget. It appears that God only forgets when we repent!  If God answers our petition for help based on the conditions we gave Him,- and then we don’t keepour end of the deal‘, it can compound our problems. 

[Read  Ecclesiastes 5: verses 1 and 2 in your bible.]  Those words are not very complimentary to a person who makes a vow and then doesn’t follow through on their part of the deal. The fallout can be pretty severe.

Because a vow is made on a deal of our choosing,-  if I then don’t then follow through on my  part after God has done His part, – the legals of  “law keeping”  kick in. We step back into the old covenant system when we make a vow. It was an “An eye for an eye and tooth for tooth system.” It works similar to probation. If I am given clemency based on an agreement, or a promise, and then don’t fulfill my agreement and keep my promise, – my troubles will compound!  Many people have created this kind of problem in their life because of this approach, and then don’t realize what is causing their continual dissapointments. They ponder questions like;” Why don’t things get better for me?” or, “Why is it that nothing I do seems to work for me?”

Before you set these thoughts aside, – I strongly recommend that you read the above mentioned verses in the bible. I would suppose there is a place for this “vow” approach even today, in an extreme emergency situation. But there is a better system in place now…,

Give this some meditation! If you know of an agreement you made with God, that is in your history, – Correct it and fulfill it if you can, if not ask God to forgive you for your failure, – and He will!  God is quick to forgive,- ‘when we acknowledge our failure,’ – and ask Him!.  Now observe the following- ‘FAITH approach.


If I go to God in  ‘grace through faith’ , I am then moving into the New Testament system, which was instituted when Jesus rose from the dead. I am no longer operating under the legal rules of  ‘law keeping.’

The ‘grace through faith approach‘ will  sound similar to this: “Oh Father God, author of grace and mercy, I am in a mess, and I really need your help. I love you, and I trust you, and I believe in you. I believe your promises are for me. Here is what I need help for; [such and such, and etcetera.] I am doing everything I know to do to be pleasing in your sight. If there is something I am not doing, or should be doing, please forgive me and let me know what I can do to correct it. I am leaning on your love for me and your stated promise to “listen when I call.Open my eyes and let me see what I need to know. I will be careful to do what you tell me to do. Thank you for your love and willingness to help me in this situation. I want to thank you in advance for helping me right now! I offer this prayer in Jesus Holy name.” This method is applying what Jesus has done for us. Then God sees us through the prism of Jesus’ perfection and applies it to us.  This is “grace” not law. This is clearly a New Testament way to pray!

Following that prayer, I will then do something to help someone else with their problem. Or I will give God an offering to something that I know God is interested in. I will be quick to make some kind of move as an act of faith and confidence in God. I will forgive someone for a transgression they did to me, or against me. This works by the law of “seedtime and harvest.” What I sow is what I reap. What I do toward others finds a way to come back to me.  We are then applying the ‘law of grace’ through the sacrifice that Jesus has made for us.  SELAH! (meditate this)

When we move in faith, we will always move first, i.e. [pay our tithe, give an offering, or do something to help somebody else with their problem, etc] – and then trust God to do His part. In this approach, we are not trying to earn it. We are relying on “grace through faith.” It is relying on what Jesus has already done.

God can always be trusted. “JESUS NEVER FAILS.”

God made the first move toward us when He gave us His son to redeem us. What we do in return is done in faith , – to embrace what He has done for us. Someone said it this way; “God is a good checker player; – when it is our turn to move, –  He waits. It pleases God when I trust Him and show faith in His integrity.

Summary:  A vow says; “God, you move first and then trust me to do my part. ” Faith says; “God, I will move first, –  then trust you to help me.

Which way does your heart tell you to pray?   Selah!  GD


Special note: The book shown at the top of this article is 256 pages, with 13 chapters of information on the bible and finances. This book is endorsed by Oral Roberts and John Osteen. It is available on our website – plus other writings and books, – CD’s, DVD’s etc.  Some of our materials are downloadable and free of charge.  []                                             

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2 replies
  1. Bruce & Helen Koen
    Bruce & Helen Koen says:

    Oh brother Gerald. This so so “on target” it would take a fool to misunderstand. You’re right. Both methods work, however, many people, including Christians are ignorant toward this. Paul taught us to study to show ourselves approved unto God. Sadly, people are “Word” ignorant, and end up bringing bad news instead of good news in this earth. Thanks for your words of encouragement. They always bless us above and beyond. Greet sis Thelma for us. BK

    • Gerald Davis
      Gerald Davis says:

      Thank you Bruce for your response. That teaching is also in my book titles HOW TO FUNCTION IN THIS ECONOMY. I seem to have lost your email address and mailing address. The last mailing I sent to you was returned. Can you resend them to me at Our love, Gerald and Thelma


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