A recent survey indicates that 86% of people in the USA pray daily. This indicates that people recognize their own spirituality and want to connect with God even if these prayers are giving thanks for meals.
Prayer changes things. It changes circumstances, results, and most often perspective. Prayer brings a sense of calmness and hope for the future. Prayer is an essential part of the Christian life.
How does prayer change things?
- Prayer gives us perspective.We always see things differently when we have placed our concerns at the footstool of the Father. He helps us see thing from His viewpoint, His eternal viewpoint.
- Prayer changes our feelings.When we are discouraged, prayer gives us hope. When we are grieving, prayer gives us comfort. When we are confused, prayer can bring wisdom.
- Prayer changes our outcome. Often, prayer changes our actions. We may choose to do something in one way, but after praying about it we choose another alternative or direction. Or perhaps we wait until God reveals His direction.
Nehemiah was a man of prayer. In the first chapter of the Bible book named for him, we read that he was fasting and praying as he interceded for others. His heart was heavy and he took his concerns to the ever-listening God for the universe who hears our whispers of prayers and knows our thoughts.
Nehemiah’s prayers are a great model for us.
- He fasted and prayed. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that while mentioned in the Bible and modeled by Jesus, may not be a regular practice for many Christians, unless we are grieving. Give some thought about spending time in prayer instead of eating a meal.
- He confessed his sin.Nehemiah agreed with God (confessed) that he and his people had “acted very corruptly” toward God. Ask God to search your heart and agree with Him about the sins you have committed. Forgiveness brings freedom.
- He gave God the glory.Nehemiah consistently spoke of God receiving the glory. He praised God, speaking of His great power and love.
Many of Nehemiah’s prayers are several paragraphs as recorded in the Bible. Some are just mentioned as in chapter 2:4, where we find Nehemiah praying before answering the king. Prayer changed Nehemiah’s life and that of a city. God’s power and love was unleashed because of this one man’s prayer and willingness to take actions based on answered prayer.
What are you praying for that only God can do? Are you willing to act once you know God’s direction? Will you pray daily for God to be glorified through your life so that our city will see His mercy and love?