Prayer is the spiritual pulse: by this, the spiritual health may always be tested.’ J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Love God Greatly has written an excellent study on prayer. Everywhere I turn, prayer is the subject. Charles Swindoll is preaching on Nehemiah. Nehemiah is a man of prayer. Would God describe you a woman of prayer?
Nehemiah praying when he discovers that his beloved Jerusalem lay in ruins, the walls need repair. He bathed the process in prayer. He identifies himself as King Artaxerxes’ cup-bearer. A cup-bearer tastes wine and food before the King. A place that is much like the secret service man who guards our president. Can you image drinking the first sip of wine wondering if the wine is poison? Truly a job requiring trust. In Nehemiah 1: 4 he fasted and prayed before he went before the King. Nehemiah in verses 5-10 he brought his needs to God first before he brought the need to the King. In verse 11, God gave favor with King Artaxerxes’ and the King granted him the time to go and survey his home Jerusalem and granted him future supplies. Only God can work in the heart of a non believer.
Charles Swindoll says, “Prayer is not only important but it is vital to leadership.” I would go further to say it is vital to our relationship with Jesus.
Ah! How often, Christians, hath God kissed you at the beginning of prayer, and spoken peace to you in the midst of prayer, and filled you with joy and assurance upon the close of prayer!. Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Lets us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” I think Nehemiah’s leadership demonstrates his confidence of him drawing near the throne of grace. The men that worked on the wall received mercy and they found grace in their time of need.
Charles Swindoll says there are four benefits of prayer: Prayer makes us wait. He says we can’t honestly pray and rush ahead of God, prayer enables us to take a breath and take a look at the situation. Prayer clears our vision. He shares that we can see the situation through God’s eyes and not our own. Prayer quiets our hearts. He says we can’t continue to worry and pray at the same time. Lastly, prayer activates our faith. He shares and with that faith we have an attitude of hope and peace that replace criticism and worry.
P=Praise A=Admission R=Request T=Thanksgiving. This is a good acronym if you want to write your prayers.
This is a prayer from Paul. Phil 1: 9-11 And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Beloved, let’s become women of prayer.
Why is prayer such a gift to us?