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Prayer the Nehemiah Way, Part 4 of 8

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 31, 2009


Part 3

The prayer is not recorded, but the verse is very telling,

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat – Nehemiah 4:9

There are three basic approaches to dealing with situations in your life:

  • Prayer and action
  • Action alone
  • Prayer with no action. 

As with most things, the choice you make does say something of your faith in God, and so, I want to look primarily at the first and last approach together since the second one is pretty much a lack of faith in God and more a faith in your own abilities.

Faith – Make Your Move

Many people say that “faith” is letting go and letting God do it, and it may be true in some cases, but not always.  The key to a prayer of faith is that you go to God first.  Faith is found in the action taken first.  If a overwhelming situation arises and you spend your first bit of time trying to resolve it, then your faith is more in your actions than in the ability of God. 

So the first move in any situation should be toward God, and it is the sign of a good relationship with God.  You understand who you are and who He is. 

Once you make that move toward God, you then have two options – wait and work. 

Faith that Waits

God is not confined by your timelines.  He doesn’t run a McDonalds.  He is very patient which can be very frustrating to us.  The reason His movements don’t match up with our reason is because He operates outside of the space/time continuum.  He sees the beginning and the end at the same time; we don’t. 

Sometimes, when we pray, we need to wait and do nothing.  But when do we do nothing?  When should we let go and “let God”? 

This question is found more in what you know you should do verses what you feel you should do.  Trust your understanding of God’s faithfulness and not your emotions.  He works in perfect wisdom. 

For example, if you see a need that your involvement in could jeopardize a Godly outcome because of you interference, it might be wise to just simply pray.  When in doubt, you can’t really go wrong just praying.  Become an intercessor; become a person that stands in the gap and help that person or situation through a spiritual battle.  They don’t need to even know, but I will say that if you intercede on someones behalf in a driven manner, you will make a huge impact in the spiritual world on their behalf.

Faith that Works

But there are times with faith needs to be followed with action.  Do you think that if you break an arm and pray to God, that you should just sit there and do nothing, or should you go to the hospital? If you go to the hospital, are you acting in faith or denying the power of God? 

By going to God first, you are demonstrating faith.  You are giving him the first move.  Sometimes, he answers yes, other times he answers no or wait, but should we just sit there if he seems silent?

Nehemiah didn’t pray the prayer he prayed, which was for protection from the enemy, then just foolishly go about his day.  He prayed for protection, then, as one writer wrote, “he picked up his weapons and went to work on the wall saying, ‘God I trust you, and I am picking up every tool available to me so that I will be ready when you call me to action.'”

Faith is like a battle our military fights today.  There are various elements involved from the bombers above, to the ships at sea to the troops on the ground. Each has a mission and it is a very bad thing when they all move at the same time.  If the troops on the front line go charging in just as the bombers are dropping their payloads, there are going to be a lot of dead allies. 

God moves and works in ways that we don’t always see.  Just go to him first, pick up every tool you can find and ready all weapons then wait for the call to march.

Don’t be afraid of praying then moving.  It is not a lack of faith, it is a voice that say, “Lord, here I am, and I am ready for what you would have me to do.”

This concept is echoed in the entire book of James.  So adamant James was about the link between faith and action that the early church struggled whether to include James in the Scriptures.  The key to understanding this link, as I have already shown, is to start with faith and end with works.  Works should only reflect the faith you have already. 

Trust God always, and ready yourself to be called upon if God decides He is going to use you to answer your own prayer.

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One Response to “Prayer the Nehemiah Way, Part 4 of 8”

  1. […] « What’s a Believer to do about our Political Situation? Prayer the Nehemiah Way, Part 4 of 8 […]

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