Thursday, July 5, 2012

Things to Consider in Your Prayer Life-7/5/12

"When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. I said, “I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses." Neh 1:4-7

Nehemiah had just received word from his brother that dear Jerusalem and the people of God were in the saddest state of affairs. Though they had relatively recently been freed from exile, their society was in a shambles, they were not worshipping properly if at all and the wall that surrounded the city was in desperate disrepair. Being afflicted in his heart, Nehemiah immediately sat down and prayed.

Beloved, there are many things we can learn about prayer from Nehemiah. Most of us are aware of the so called "Lord's Prayer" which is also an effective model, however note the enhanced content of Nehemiah's supplication.  It featured:
  • Heartfelt emotion-he wept
  • Consistency-he did so for days
  • Frequency-he did so day and night
  • Sacrifice-he fasted
  • Praise-he glorified God
  • Knowledge of God-he referenced the covenant
  • Confession-he acknowledged his shortcomings as well as that of his people
  • Request-he asked for an audience for his prayers and success in his planned endeavor
Many of us give prayer short shrift in our lives until we find ourselves in severe need or want. Let us always model the structure the Lord provided and the application Nehemiah made in our prayer lives. God hears. God listens. God cares. God responds.

Rejoicing in the Lord,


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