Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Quick Prayers

We were reading this evening in Nehemiah 2. With God's graciousness in getting me out of a potentially difficult situation (mentioned previously) fresh in my mind... Nehemiah's time and place of prayer really stuck out to me.
So the king said to me, "Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart." Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, "Let the king live forever Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?" Then the king said to me, "What would you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, "If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it." Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, "How long will your journey be, and when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. And I said to the king, "If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go " And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.
So often we get caught up in the stress of the moment and fail to turn to Him as our source of help. True dependence on the Lord would cause us to turn to Him the moment we face difficulty. I just love this passage because here he is standing in front of one of the most powerful people in the world, very close to death (for looking sad)... the king probably surprised him when he asked what he wanted... and rather than jumping on the opportunity right away, he took it to the Lord in prayer. I don't think he told the king to wait for 2 days... or even 5 minutes. I think this was one of those two second, "Lord help me!", prayers. Sometimes, I think these are the most important. It is those short acts of submission to Him... humbling ourselves before Him... reminding ourselves that we can't do it on our own... that really indicate weather or not we are depending on Him as we ought. To prove that this dependence on the Lord as displayed by Nehemiah wasn't just a fluke, we see him give the glory back to God when the king granted his request. How easy it would have been at that moment to say, "I said the right words and the king let me do what I asked and gave his full support." It was God's doing and Nehemiah recognized that... and not only recognized it, but gave Him glory because of it. This is true dependence on the Lord: turning to Him as a first instinct and glorifying Him for any successes.

God, I so often turn to my own wisdom in tough situations. Help me always to take everything to You in earnest prayer! Change my heart to truly love and depend on You as I ought to. Burn away any desires I have to bring glory to myself, for You tell us that every good thing comes from You. Turn my heart to glorify You. Rid me of the self-glorification tendencies of my flesh. Bring me to the end of myself. Glorify Yourself in me and through me.

1 comment:

Ashley Rogers said...

Thank you for sharing this, Daniel! This was perfect timing. With the conference season starting, I have found myself stressing and not depending on the Lord like I should be this week. The Lord used your post to remind and encourage me to rest in His strength and trust Him - fully depending on Him as I work today.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." - Phil.4:6-7