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November 13, 2013

November 13, 2013

"Four Secrets to Answered Prayer"

“Then [Nehemiah] said, ‘Oh, Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of unfailing love with those who love Him and obey His commandments, listen to my prayer!...I confess that we have sinned against you…Please remember what you told your servant Moses: if you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you amongst the nations. But if you will return to me and obey my commandments and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored…Please grant me success today by making the King favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.’” Nehemiah 1: 1 - 5

Here are four secrets to answered prayer from the life of Nehemiah.
Base your request on God’s character.Pray like you know God will answer you. He’s made that promise and there’s no reason why a loving God would possibly not fulfill His promise. Nehemiah speaks words of adoration to Him, but also reminds Him of His promises. If there’s a problem remind Him that He can handle it.
Confess the sins of which you are aware.Once Nehemiah established the character of God, He turned to the character of people. He says it as clearly as he can, “I confess that we have sinned against you…” There’s no sense pulling your punches, trying to make God think you’ve been a good guy. Even though Nehemiah wasn’t there when the first sins occurred, he wasn’t even born yet, he included himself in that confession. The idea isn’t to point your finger at others but to admit your own needs for forgiveness.
Claim the promises of God.It sounds odd that Nehemiah, when he’s talking to God, says remember. It’s as if he thinks God might forget something. That’s not the case. God remembers everything. So who does Nehemiah really want to remember the promises of God? If you said Israel, you’re right. God had promised that if they sinned they would lose the land. But He also promised that if they repented they would regain it.
Be very specific in what you ask for.If you want specific answers to prayer, then make specific requests. If your prayers are just general requests how will you know if they’re answered?

Nehemiah is not hesitant to pray for success. In fact he’s very bold. Have you ever boldly asked God to be successful? If not, why haven’t you?

Is it OK to ask God to make you successful? I think it all depends on your definition of success. Here’s the one I think God would like you to use:

“Fulfilling God’s purpose for my life in faith, love and the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting the results from God.”

That’s a worthy life objective that you should be able to pray for with confidence. Consider this if you can’t ask God to make you a success at what you are doing, you should be doing something else. God doesn’t want you to waste your life.

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don