Friday, September 29, 2017

Looking Around and Ahead

O. T. #1070  "Looking Around and Ahead"
Sept. 29, 2017
Nehemiah 9-Part 3


What do you see if you look around at your circumstances? If I  take a few minutes to look around at my situation, I would see two sick guys at my house, my husband and cat. Yesterday was a rough third day after hubby's knee replacement. Hopefully, it will get better from now on. As for my cat, I didn't realize he was sick until yesterday. But he ate some tuna and is looking better. Spending 2 hours on the road and my days at the hospital took my attention away from the cat. Hopefully, he is on the mend, too. I prayed for both. I know God can heal both. He has done it before. The Israelites were praying the same way.

We are taking a closer look at the structure and purposes of this faith-inspiring prayer in chapter 9, which has four dimensions, according to Charles Swindoll:
  1. The first dimension of prayer is looking up (adoration and praise). verses 5-6
  2. The second dimension of prayer is looking back (reflection and thanksgiving). verses 7-18
  3. The third dimension of prayer is looking around (petition and confession). verses 19-31
The Israelites' prayer moved from the past to the present. They focused on confession, freely admitting tat they were facing hardships because of their sins. They pleaded with the Lord to enter into the pin they felt as they lived in their own land under the yoke of another nation.
The all-knowing knew the suffering and pain of His children long before they recognized it themselves. He understood their needs. They still brought their petition to Him, sharing their struggles and pleading with Him to intercede. The very act of placing their burdens at His feet signified their faith in His goodness and their submission to His sovereign will. (Swindoll)

Peter tells us our solution in 1 Peter 5:7:
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 

Are we making the choice of casting our care upon Jesus? It means consciously handing over our anxiety to Christ and allowing Him to carry the weight of our problem.
Is it hard to turn them over?
Is our self-reliance and worry holding us back?
Are we trying to deal with something our self?
Do we consider there to be God-sized problems and our-sized problems?
Will you let Him carry your load today?


         4. The fourth dimension of prayer is looking ahead in commitment and direction.

As the Israelites looked toward their future, they remembered the terrible consequences of disobedience  their forefathers suffered. Their future would be the same if they did not change.
They were in a predicament-slaves in their own land. The Israelites had to give a portion of their resources to a foreign king.

The Jews made a binding agreement in writing on a sealed document containing the names of their leaders, Levites, and priests. Those are listed in chapter 10.

Are we applying the four dimensions of prayer-praise, thanksgiving, petition, and commitment as we commune with our God?


Praise God for ho He is.
Thank God for what He has done.
Ask His help.
Obey His will.

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