O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. (Nehemiah 1:11)
I’m always conscious of the need to focus on developing my prayer life. This is an area of our spiritual life that does not grow unless we are intentional about pursuing time with God. Learning from the great prayers of the Bible is one way to become more prayerful. Nehemiah is a great leader known for his great prayers. When I study his prayers, I learn some valuable insights.
ATTITUDE OF PRAYER (Nehemiah 1:4). During a time of distress Nehemiah prayed day and night. Because his heart was broken over the situation back home, he approached the Father with weeping and mourning and fasting. It is easy to just make requests and speak repetitious prayers. Passionate prayer erupts from a heart that is conscious of sin, burdens, and of our great need for God’s help. Our dependent spirit feeds our prayer life.
ADORATION IN PRAYER (Nehemiah 1:5). Three times in this prayer Nehemiah says that God is “Awesome”. We over-use that word these days. In the song of Moses we read, “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).If you have troubles expressing adoration and praise for God, use the words of Scripture that are there to help you (Psalm 47:2; Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Kings 8:23).
ADMISSION IN PRAYER (Nehemiah 1:6-9). Admit to God that we are in submission to His will and that we desire to live for Him. Admit to God your sin. We all struggle with wickedness – even if it is only in our thoughts. Our prayer lives will take on new passion when we come to God admitting our need, our desire for His presence, and our struggle for daily holiness.