Do you ever go through seasons when your prayer life feels mundane and emotionless? You may be in a season like that right now. Or perhaps you’ve never had a passionate prayer experience.
Knowing the purposes and promises of God revealed in the Scriptures can increase the zeal of your prayer life!
Nehemiah provides a vivid example of this. He was a hard worker, serving as a “cupbearer” for the king of Persia—a trusted position with access to the king. He checked all the drinks in the king’s household, making sure they weren’t poisoned! Nehemiah wasn’t a religious leader; he was a common person with a big job who loved God … not much different than us.
In Nehemiah chapter 1, we see Nehemiah’s heart and the motivation for his prayer life.
Nehemiah was passionate about God’s purposes. Regarding a report of the destroyed walls and gates of Jerusalem, he says in 1:4: “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
His heart was torn apart when he heard that God’s work was being thwarted! How do we respond when we hear of opposition to the things of God?
Nehemiah pleaded with God about the promises He had made. In a passionate prayer that was prompted by a broken heart, Nehemiah reminds God of what He had promised: “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘… If you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand” (1:8-10).
Look at the boldness that Nehemiah had before God! He knew God’s heart because he knew what God had promised. He was able to plead with God to be faithful to the things He had said regarding His people. To what extent would you say you have a deep knowledge and heart for what God desires to do in our world?
May God fan the flame of your desire to appeal passionately to God for the things He’s promised to accomplish in our world and through us!
To read more from Doug, visit his blog at makingwaves.navigators.org