Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Prayer the Nehemiah Way – Part 8 of 8

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 8, 2009


See Part 7

Here we are at the final prayer of Nehemiah, and it is truly the final prayer recorded.

Remember me with favor, O my God – Nehemiah 13:31

Once again, we look at the motives of Nehemiah. ¬†This seems like a selfish prayer at first glance, but it is the first time he actually prays simply for himself, and given his job performance, I’d say it’s about time.

This is the last verse in the book, and he has fought a hard fight; he has finished strong; he has run his race. ¬†He has poured his heart and soul into the restoration of Jerusalem and now he prays to God, “Remember me”.

I don’t want this statement to be misconstrued, but you can unselfishly ask for blessing when your lifestyle isn’t built on being blessed; however, if you live for blessing, you might want to look hard at your motives.

Nehemiah sacrified. David sacrificed. Moses sacrificed. ¬†Many in the scriptures gave all they had in their journey with God. ¬†When they spoke of being blessed by God, their hearts were already in the mindset of serving God without self-interest. ¬†The mission was all about God’s plan. ¬†There is no shame in asking for blessing, especially when your life is devoted to the cause of God.

God loves to bless, but He is not frivolous about it either. ¬†He doesn’t just aimlessly toss about blessings. ¬†Blessings have a positive short-term effect, but if the one being blessed is not grounded properly in Christ, then the blessing will dry up and the one being blessed will not grow, but become dependent on receiving blessings in order to maintain their spiritual walk.

Blessing from God is always good, but if we are ill equiped to handle the blessing, then we can become prideful, selfsh, greedy, and simply unchanged.  Blessings actually have very little imact on our spiritual outcome.

I have often wondered why so many believers have so many struggles, so many heart aches, and so much pain. ¬†I know this doesn’t preach well (as they might say), but it might be that the only way God can get us to the point of talking with him is when we are afflicted.

You know that I’m right; you just are having a hard time admitting it. ¬†When is it tougher to get on your face before God in humility, when things are going great or when things are terrible? ¬†The Bible tells us plainly that Suffering produced Perseverance and Perseverance produces Character and Character produces Hope! (Romans 5:3-5) ¬†The path to hope begins with the fundamental understanding of suffering.

Paul understood this all too well. ¬†In fact, he is the only person I know that was called by Jesus with these words, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:16) Tell the truth, would you become a Christian if Jesus said that to you?

Paul understood, as Nehemiah understood, because he said, “I want to know Jesus in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering”.

If you don’t hear anything I say, hear this, “You will never know Jesus fully until you know him in his suffering.”

Christianity is not meant to be pretty, it is a battle Рa bloody battle that started with the battle wounds Jesus bore on the Cross.  We struggle and fight everyday, and we win battles everyday, and that is the point.  In winning a battle, we grow.  We struggle and train hard for this race.  We fall down, but we get back up.  We fight knowing that we will be the victors in the end.  It is the actual struggle that God uses to make us stronger.  Deliverance out of struggle never made any Christian stronger.

Too many preach a message of Christianity that gives the listener enough head knowledge to be dangerous, especially to themselves, but they aren’t taught that the Christian walk is not a cake walk. For when they find that the battle gets hot, they struggle and fail because they weren’t told ahead of time that while Jesus may have promised roses, he also promised thorns on those very roses.

Don’t be afraid of the struggle; dive right in. ¬†Know that your successful journey gives you every right and privilege to pray as many have prayed in the past, “Remember me with favor, O God!”

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