The prayers of Nehemiah have affected me deeply. The prayers of Nehemiah are not only effective; they are prayers of humility, submissiveness, and power.
These are the prayers that empower the church.
Through the years I have noticed the tendency of pastors–like me–to want to lead the church by our ideas or vision. People who teach leadership love to talk about vision. Obviously, vision cannot be overlooked, but we must ask whose vision we are promoting. Nehemiah sought God’s vision and looked for God’s provision to do the work. He depended on the “gracious hand of God” to be upon him.
We must do the same. Prayer fuels and propels the church. It is the launching pad for the rocket of ministry and the proclamation of the gospel.
It’s easy to use Christian ministry to promote self. It’s easy to want to appear to be the smartest person in the room.
God uses the humble not the proud. God opposes the proud and exalts the humble (James 4:6). As Paul said, not many of you were wise according to the flesh, not many noble or mighty (1 Corinthians 1:26). “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, . . . .And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
Prayer should be at the root of everything we do (John Kincaid). Both personally, but especially corporately as the church, we must take everything to God. We can develop ideas, but they must be God’s ideas.
When we pray in God’s will, the gates of heaven will be thrown open wide.
Therefore, let us pray and seek the blessing and power of God.