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Approach In Prayer - Soak In Prayer

For anyone who knows my mother, they know her as “the prayer lady”. It’s her passion, and she has made it a priority to teach others about prayer through various speaking engagements and online training. My mom is a wise woman who asks questions meant to make you think, and one particular question she has been asking people for as long as I can remember is…

What is the difference between a PRAYER life and a PRAYING life?

I won’t give away too much because there is an incredible online course that she has created through PrayerWorks Network to give you a detailed answer to that question and more, (shameless plug), but the basic response is...

A prayer life is a life where you set aside time every so often for prayer.

A praying life is a life where you never cease to pray. It is a constant.

This is all I can think about as I read through Nehemiah 2. I can’t stress enough how important and impactful it is to live a praying life like Nehemiah. He gives us a full picture of a very painful and difficult situation that could have cost him his life. He trusted God, persisted in prayer, and was obedient to His calling, even when he couldn’t see the end result.


“2...”Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of the heart.” I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king,” May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 The king said to me,” What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city of Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

  • “Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the King”

Approached in prayer, soaked in prayer

We read in chapter 1 that Nehemiah prayed before entering the king's presence, but here we read that in the midst of the situation he is praying. The conversation between God and him was ongoing through this time. He didn’t wait until it was over or just pray initially and leave it at that. Because of his constant dependence on God, where he knew his victory came from, God was faithful to Nehemiah and answered his prayer.

  • “If it pleases the king”

Maintaining Respect for Authority

Nehemiah knew his place as not just a servant of the Most High God but as a servant to king Artaxerxes. Nehemiah’s mindset was of servanthood, obedience, and respect. Nehemiah was emotional. He was sad and discouraged, he could have left without saying anything but he sought the approval of king Artaxerxes over his travel, why? Because he respected him as his leader. What does God call us to do for our leaders?

My dad is always saying, “No matter the circumstances, do your best to leave well.”

Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13:17)

Also, just a brief reminder for anyone who is having a hard time with their leaders, God doesn’t make mistakes. People make mistakes. If you are struggling to submit to a leader, just remember that. The mistakes they make are their own but God has put them there for reasons that may not be clear to you yet. All you have to do is trust God, know what is His voice and what is not, obey what He is calling YOU to do, and pray for your leader every time you struggle with their authority.

My mom always says,” Fault finding is not a call to criticism, it is a call to prayer.”

Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power.” - Romans 13:1-2

Last verse from Nehemiah 2…

“9 So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.”

  • “The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me”

Fruits of Obedience

God will always provide when His children are obedient. This is a perfect example of the saying, “God has something better for you.” Did Nehemiah ask for all of this from the king? No, but he submitted to the Lord and God blessed him.

I don’t know about you but I feel so encouraged by this. The application is simple:

Soak it in prayer, submit in obedience, trust God, and enjoy the fruit!

Whatever situation you may be facing, it’s not too big for God. It might feel overwhelming or too much for you and that is perfectly fine, God’s got you! Remain obedient no matter how scary it is or nervous you feel, talk to your Heavenly Father constantly because He delights in you and will provide for you!

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