I gotta ask, do you get comfortable reading certain books of the Bible during your God time? So much they practically become the only books you read by default? I DO THIS CONSTANTLY! It drives me crazy! Does this sound familiar?
”There’s that one verse I really like! I could read that!”
” I could go through Proverbs again. There’s always something there.”
Please be honest if you’ve done this, the classic:
“God show me what you want me to read”
and then let your Bible flop open on the table to some random place and just read that!
Long story short, I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my reading scripture that I haven't really touched on. If I want to know God more, I need to start by studying His word more.
Recently He has taken me to Nehemiah and while I thought at first, “Yeah yeah, it’s the story of them building the wall! I got it, I got it!” The truth is, my mind is being blown and my spirit is feeling rejuvenated! So much so that I wish to share with you what He is showing me! Please join me in a walk through the book of Nehemiah!
Just a side note, I will only be including certain verses in this post for the sake of space, but I highly encourage you to read the full chapters on your own and ask God to show you what He wants YOU to see!
“O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we people of Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you.”
Nehemiah prepares through prayer
In preparation for this mission, he starts by what better way than asking God for his covering?
He repents on behalf of himself and his people
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. When you approach God, be right with him. If you’re not right with Him, GET RIGHT WITH HIM.
Work hard to have a healthy covenant relationship with the Father. He delights in helping His children who keep in repentance.
What is repentance?
It is mourning that you have hurt the heart of God. Nehemiah knew he and others were guilty of this and knew he needed to make it right. By humbling himself and keeping in repentance, the favor of God was upon him.
He prays this prayer twice (when something is repetitive it is important)
He asks later in chapter 2 as well that God’s ear be attentive to His servants' prayer. Why is this important? Because it shows us how to approach God in prayer. BOLD AND RESPECTFUL.
Don’t shy into His presence. You are loved by Him, you are His child.
Imagine being a kid. A huge snow storm just came through your area and you know your elderly neighbors will have a hard time clearing their driveways. They will need help from someone more capable. You know this is something you can do, but you need help getting the snow plow up and running to carry out this task. You go to your dad and ask him for help. Do you think he will be upset if you come to him or do you think that he will embrace you because you are doing something you know is right and good?
God wants you to come to Him for help, He expects it of us! We need Him and He delights in us! If your heart is right, if you are doing His will, if you are pursuing the calling He has for your life, THEN WHY THE HECK WOULDN’T YOU JUST BE CONFIDENT IN ASKING FOR HIS HELP! BE BOLD! HE HAS AN ANSWER TO ANY REQUEST, ALWAYS!
“O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
HERE’S WHERE GOD KINDA BLEW MY MIND! Nehemiah prayed twice before going to the king.
One prayer focusing on repentance, favor and remembrance of covenant. - General covering over what is to come.
The second prayer, here, is requesting victory for just this day.
Have you ever dealt with something very challenging that took a large portion of time and energy? Something that made you nervous or afraid enough to pray over the whole situation at once and ask God for help dealing with it all? That’s great! That’s normal. You should pray in confidence over big situations, nothing is too big or small for God to handle. But have you ever heard the saying don’t bite off more than you can chew? This quote does not apply to God, but to us. Nehemiah prayed over everything first, but then he prayed again asking for God to grant him favor just for the day.
This is so encouraging! It’s a nice thought to have, that you don’t need to tackle everything all at once. You can rely on God to begin His work within your overall situation but just for today YOU can ask for a daily victory. Baby steps! Take your time, don’t overload yourself. You can’t handle everything and it’s ok. Just ask for small victories, be obedient to His plans and trust that He has His hand over everything else.
I hope this was as encouraging to you as it was to me. I look forward to diving even deeping into the book of Nehemiah with y’all!
Until next time, PRAYING FOR YOUR DAILY VICTORIES!
After all, any victory big or small is still a victory!