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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Components Toward Answered Prayer

In review of Nehemiah 1:5-11, it says, "5 Lord God of Heaven! You are great, and we stand in fear of you. You faithfully keep your covenant with those who love you and do what you command. 6 Look at me, Lord, and hear my prayer, as I pray day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess that we, the people of Israel, have sinned. My ancestors and I have sinned. 7 We have acted wickedly against you and have not done what you commanded. We have not kept the laws which you gave us through Moses, your servant. 8 Remember now what you told Moses: ‘If you people of Israel are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the other nations. 9 But then if you turn back to me and do what I have commanded you, I will bring you back to the place where I have chosen to be worshiped, even though you are scattered to the ends of the earth.’ 10 “Lord, these are your servants, your own people. You rescued them by your great power and strength. 11 Listen now to my prayer and to the prayers of all your other servants who want to honor you. Give me success today and make the emperor merciful to me.” In those days I was the emperor's wine steward.

Bottom Line:
Ask God in line with who he is, confession, claims of his promises and being specific.

What this means to me:
Components toward answered prayer come from praying in line with God’s character, true confession, claiming God’s promises, and being specific in what I ask for.

Nehemiah had four components in his prayer that I can use in mine:

First he based his request on God’s character. Pray like I know God will answer me: It's much like expecting God to answer this prayer because of who He is. After all He is a loving, faithful and great God. He can handle this problem.

Secondly confess the sins that I’m aware of. After Nehemiah based his prayer on who God is, he confessed his sins. It wasn’t Nehemiah’s fault that Israel went into captivity. He wasn’t even born when it happened; he was most likely born in captivity. Yet, he’s including himself in the national sins. He saying, "I too have been a part of the problem.”

Thirdly claim the promises of God. Nehemiah prays to the Lord, saying, "I want you to remember what you told your servant Moses." Can you imagine saying "remember" to God? Nehemiah reminds God of a promise he made to the nation of Israel. In effect, he prays, “God, you warned through Moses that if we were unfaithful, we would lose the land of Israel. But you also promised that if we repent, you’d give it back to us.”  God doesn’t need to be reminded, however it helps me remember what God has promised.

Lastly be very specific in what I ask for. If I want specific answers to prayer, then make specific requests. If my prayers consist of general requests, it will be difficult to know when they’re answered.

In this example, I see where Nehemiah is not hesitant to pray for success. He’s very bold in his praying. I too can pray, "Lord, make me successful?” Afterall what’s the alternative to being successful?

In summary, pray in line with:
God’s character
Confess what Sin’s I’m aware of
Claim the promises of God
Be very specific in what I ask for

But as I pray for success, I think it’s important to define what success is. A good definition of success is: "fulfilling God’s purpose for my life in faith, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting the results from God.”  I think I’ll add this statement to part of my quiet time so that I can reflect and pray with confidence and incorporate it into my daily thinking.

I also need to reflect on my life today, If you can’t ask God to make me a success at what I’m doing, I should probably be doing something else. After all, God doesn’t want me to waste my life.

Also, what are the other promises of God that I need to claim today?