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What Makes Prayer Work?

Nehemiah 2

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can also download our service at Baptist-Christian at iTunes. We have studied a pattern and process for prayer. Now we are going to see what made that pattern and process work. As we study Scripture we can learn prayer is one of the most powerful “weapons” in our Christian arsenal. If we truly understood the power of prayer, we would spend our entire lives letting the power of God flow through us. There are many reasons why prayer works, and many reasons why it doesn’t! One really good reason why prayer worked for Nehemiah was that he was a man of prayer, meaning, his daily life functioned around prayer, not the other way around. Notice:

    1. NEHEMIAH’S PATIENCE! God allowed Nehemiah to carry his burden around for several months before the king noticed he was sad. (The reason God does that is a whole other sermon!) It is important to see the king recognized Nehemiah’s burden as a sadness of heart. Such sadness is hard to hide because it is inward malady with outward manifestations. It’s so hard to hide sadness of heart! In our current “give me patience, now” society we want God to solve all our problems while we are telling Him about them. God doesn’t work that way! James 1 tells us why. How long are you willing to wait on God to work through you?
    2. NEHEMIAH’S PRUDENCE! In this text Nehemiah is standing before the most powerful man on earth. To stand in the presence of the king was the highest honor that could be given any person. Nehemiah knew to be sad in the presence of the king was an insult to the king. What’s more Nehemiah is going to ask this king to let him return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. This same king had stopped that work earlier. Now Nehemiah was going to ask him to reverse his decision! WATCH how God led Nehemiah in his daily life to handle this delicate situation! When the king noticed Nehemiah’s sadness, Nehemiah told the king his heart was sad because Nehemiah’s father’s tomb was in ruins. That would have touched even an ungodly king’s heart because in that culture the place of one’s ancestors burial was of great importance. Here’s the point! Nehemiah said, “It’s not about me; my sadness is about my father’s place.” Are your prayers always about you, or do they focus on your (Heavenly) father?
    3. NEHEMIAH’S PREPAREDNESS! It is significant to notice that Nehemiah’s patience and prudence paid off. In verses 6-8b we see Nehemiah expected God to act in his behalf! Nehemiah understood God was in sovereign control of everything, including the king’s heart! Nehemiah went to his king fully prepared in every way so the king would have every opportunity to answer in Nehemiah’s favor. Is that how you go to God – fully prepared in every way?
    4. NEHEMIAH’S PRAISE! It is important to see that Nehemiah gave God all the credit for the answer to his prayer. Because Nehemiah was willing to be patient, God made him prudent. Nehemiah allowed God to prepare him to stand before the king; then Nehemiah gave God all the praise for what God had accomplished through Nehemiah. Get it?

If we can help you with this or any other spiritual matter, call us at (574) 643-9419.

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