When Nehemiah, captive in Babylon, heard the news that the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down, he prayed, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer!” (Nehemiah 1:5–6 NLT).
First Nehemiah acknowledged the greatness of God. That is how Jesus taught us to pray, in what is called the Lord’s Prayer. He said, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9–10 NLT).
Before you start giving God your list of requests, first stop and contemplate His glory. When you do, your list will change. As you get a better idea of how big God is, you will realize that He is bigger than your problems. So start by acknowledging the greatness of God.
It’s true that prayer changes things, but it’s also true that prayer changes you. And sometimes prayer changes you, and then you change things. Consider the way God changed Nehemiah and then Nehemiah changed things.
If you want God to answer your prayer, then you have to be willing to be part of the answer. So don’t just pray about a problem. Ask yourself what role you can play in it.
If we learn nothing else from the Book of Nehemiah, we learn this: Whenever we face walls that are falling down in our lives, whether it’s in our own lives or in the lives of our family or in our jobs or somewhere else, the first place to go is to God in prayer. The first thing we need to do is to ask God for help.
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