Nehemiah 1, James 5: 13-14
If you haven't read much of the Old Testament in great depth recently or even if you know it really well, I'd recommend you study how some of the key figures prayed. I've really been challenged recently in my prayer group about praying with the confidence and boldness that so many key figures did.
Take Nehemiah for example. He's just received word that the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and the gates have been destroyed by fire (Nehemiah 1: 3) and the Jews there are in 'great trouble and shame'. Immediately after hearing these words, he wept, mourned, fasted and prayed for days. After some time he comes to God, he asks him to hear his prayers and confesses his sins before him. And instead of leaving it there he comes back to God with his own words... 'Remember what you said to Moses....' he then asks to give him success in the same way.
A couple of things really strike me in this.
a) He dropped everything after he'd heard of the heart-wrenching news, and dropped everything to fast and pray for days. He didn't get out his diary to slot in a suitable time to have a prayer meeting.
b) He takes days praying then comes to God, with great boldness. 'Remember what you commanded Moses?'... please grant me the same success. I think my prayer wouldn't be so bold. 'If it'd be ok', 'if you could see it that', or 'if it's your will' I think would be my words. Although we need to be reverent before God, I don't think we need to be shy. Nehemiah gets himself right with God and asks God to give him success... There's no room for small faith, it is in God's words to Moses so he asks God to grant him the same. Simple.
But because Nehemiah has taken the time out to fast, pray, mourn and weep he's had chance to get himself right before God and come to him with such a confidence....
What do you need to take time off from to really seek God on....?
Are you in a right place to pray with the same confidence Nehemiah did?
I love the words of James 5: 'Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.'
There's no messing. It's a case of, problem - pray; sick - pray; happy - pray.
Like Nehemiah, the emphasis is prayer here and now for the here and now.
Don't lack faith in what God can do.
Get right before him and then pray with reverent boldness and confidence.
Let God work in your life.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
Volunteer Youth worker
St. Peter's Church
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