Driving to work this morning, listening to Charles Swindoll preaching on Nehemiah Chapter 9-10, struck by how Nehemiah praise and succinctly summarizes the Old Testament in this passage. Nehemiah’s recipe for prayer: praise, reflection, petition and thanks. According to Swindoll, this prayer is the longest prayer in the Bible written with humility and purity. Nehemiah a man of strong leadership, now their governor, begins the prayer with praise.
Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. You are the Lord God.
What are the names of God?
Abba, Creator, Day Star, Everlasting, Faithful, Merciful
Learning recently from reading Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lisa TerKeurst that when we praise God we invite Him into our presence and we come into His presence, Praise=Presence. The Bible says that God inhabits the praise of his people. Psalm 22:3 in the King James Version says, “Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.”
Beloved, do you start your prayers with praise?
I love to praise God. I love to praise Him through the alphabet, I often write my prayers out listing my praise, He is Abba, Bold, Caring, Devoted, Everlasting, Faithful, Grace, Holy, Immutable, Joy, King of Kings, Loving, Merciful, Name Above All Names, Overcomer, Potter, Quality, Redeemer, Sure Foundation, Truth, Unspeakable Gift, Victorious, Way, X’cellent, Yahweh, Zealous. The great news is this doesn’t complete the names, there are more. I will be writing for the challenge in April A-Z on Adoration in April 26 names with bible verses. Wendy Blight will be offering a study on her new book “I Know His Name,” through Proverbs 31 ministry. org. One needs to sign up by February 27.
Nehemiah praises God but he also looked back with thanksgiving in Nehemiah 9: 7-31 on how God had been with them from creation to their present day and all God had done.
Nehemiah in Nehemiah 9:32-37 has the Israelite look at their present situation and they ask for their present situation. Beloved, are you praying for your present concerns? And Nehemiah 9:38 the prayer ends with a look ahead committing the Israelites to future obedience.
Charles Swindoll teaches from this passage four-dimensional prayer. He encourages us to look at the structure and purpose of this faith-inspiring prayer.
- First dimension of prayer is prayer is looking up adoration and praise.
- Second dimension of prayer is looking back for reflection and thanksgiving.
- Third dimension of prayer is looking around for petition and confession.
- Fourth dimension of prayer is looking ahead for direction and commitment.
The first dimension of prayer is adoration and praise and I shared in the paragraphs above. I would love to add that singing hymns and praise songs are a sure way of bringing us into us into a peaceful state.
The second dimension of prayer is looking back really helps when recalling God’s goodness in one’s life. On a scale of faithfulness, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. If you are lonely, look back and see how God is working in your life. If you are feeling hopeless, God give us hope, and reflecting on thanks will reassure you and bring you hope.
The third dimension of prayer looking around bringing our petition and confessing our sins to the Lord is a great way to stay connected to the Lord. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.;
The fourth dimension of prayer looking ahead for direction and commitment. Where would we be without our Lord’s direction? Jeremiah 29: 11-13
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart
Nehemiah and his team despite many obstacles rebuild the wall around Jerusalem in record time, Nehemiah leads the Israelites in a time of adoration, reflection, petition, direction and commitment. The book of Nehemiah is a great book on leadership and prayer. Charles Swindoll series, Hand Me Another Brick is available for purchase from Insight For Living.