Day 14 Nehemiah 1:1-11
He was on the leadership board of the church. I had listened as he prayed on many occasions with an eloquence that could make you jealous. This was not one of those times. But his prayer this night was more passionate and sincere than any I had ever heard before.
As he tearfully pled with God for his daughter’s healing, there was a fervency and boldness that caused us to believe that his prayer had reached the throne of heaven. How could God not respond to such a prayer as this?
There may be times when we question whether our prayers have risen any higher than the ceiling, but the question may be less about God’s interest or ability to hear and more about the state of our heart. If we pray a less expectant, more obligatory prayer, God may also answer in a questioning way as He determines how serious we are. When we make an impassioned cry to God, however, it cuts through the murkiness and apathy and ushers us into His presence. Then trust because we begin to sense that God is on our side – that He wants what is best.
Nehemiah’s prayer was a passionate prayer. His cry to God for his people and their need for both forgiveness and restoration wasn’t just a prayer he repeated because it was expected of him. It reflected what he felt in his heart. It was a declaration of his faith in God and the belief that He still cared for His people. It was the “effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man” of which James wrote. Having confessed their sin, Nehemiah reminded God of the Lord’s promises to his people should they repent, and then he concluded his prayer
“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and mighty hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence this man.”
When you pray – when you bring your petitions to God – how do you approach Him? Do you believe that God wants you to come to Him with confidence and trust? Is that reflected in your prayer? Before you spend time with the Lord in prayer today, pause and remember how much God loves you and what He desires for you. Then, as Hebrews 4:16 instructs, “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”