August 9, 2017
LET IT GLOW
Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains you can't tunnel through?
God specializes in things though impossible,
He does the things others cannot do.
[Got Any Rivers by Alfred B. Smith]
Does our situation look impossible? Does it look like there is no way through it? What can God do for us?
Luke 1:37 says, For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Was it possible for Nehemiah to take a leave of absence and return to Jerusalem to help his fellow Jews? What a mess they were in-walls down and gates burnt. They had no protection from the enemies out there. They were in need of help.
When Nehemiah heard about the bad condition of the Israelites in Jerusalem, it brought him to his knees. Of the 12 prayers recorded in this book, 9 are offered up by Nehemiah. Therefore, I think it would be right in describing him as a praying man.
What were Nehemiah's attitudes and actions prior to this prayer?
We can conclude that he:
- had a heart of deep concern; (We don't know how long the grieving continued, but it was about 4 months before he acted upon the news he received. 2:1)
- made prayer a priority over other needs; (His fasting showed God that he was willing to spend time talking to Him in place of meeting his physical needs.)
- prayed persistently, day after day;
- was specific in his prayers. (Only one person could help his fellow Jews-King Artaxerxes.)
Do we pray like Nehemiah? Are our prayers a priority, out of our deep concern, persistent, and specific?
Philippians 4:6 tells us, Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God.
Nothing I too small or too big to be important to God.
LET IT GROW
Nehemiah's prayer illustrated Christ's intercession for us, His children. The Father hears the plea of Christ on our behalf.
What were the parts of Nehemiah's prayer?
- He acknowledged God's supremacy, power and majesty, and faithfulness.
- He confessed their sin, including himself, having lived appalling lives, disobeying His Word.
- He pled for God's help, hearing his prayer, remembering His covenant, and for success before the king.
In his book, Hand Me Another Brick, Swindoll gives us 4 reasons for praying:
It makes us wait, clears our vision, quiets our heart, and activates our faith. The Lord is the Specialist we need for those uncrossable and impossible experiences. He delights in accomplishing what we cannot pull off. He listens for our request. Nehemiah's favorite position when faced with problems was the kneeling position. How about you?
LET IT GO
Pray acknowledging who God is and what He has done.
Confess my sins and the sins of others for whom I pray.
Plead for God's help.
Believe He can do the impossible.