How To Pray: Part VI


Closing the deal.  Closing the sale.  When you go to buy a car, an effective salesman knows when to put the close on.  Closing too soon my hinder a customer from saying yes to buying the car because they feel pressured.  Never asking the customer to purchase the vehicle may cause the person to walk out the door without driving away with their new car.      Asking for a decision at the right time is paramount toward securing what you ultimately want.  Don’t get me wrong.  We are not trying to sale God on what we want for our good.  Praying is seeking to get on the same page as to what God wants.  But when we know what God wants, we can ask with boldness as to our requests.

Nehemiah closed his prayer by asking the Lord to act and give him success.  The end of the prayer is Nehemiah’s close in bold letters.  “Then I (Nehemiah) said:“ Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but 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. Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.” ‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭1:5-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Nehemiah knew that before he could ever go back to his country and begin to rebuild the wall that had been torn down, he needed to get the approval of his boss the king to go back.  He was asking God to change the heart and mind of his boss to do what God had burdened him to do–rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.  Nehemiah was praying for God to act on His behalf.  Sometimes our prayers are focused too far in advance, yet Nehemiah was just focused on the next step he needed before any of the wall could be built.  Maybe that is why Jesus in Matthew 6:34, He said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.  Each day has enough troubles of its own.  May our prayers need to convey more immediate needs to see Him work more immediately.

On this journey, when we recognize who God is and His attributes, we recognize our sinfulness and seek His forgiveness through confession, we realize the truth of God’s word and His promises to us, and we ask God to hear us and our requests, we can then ask God to act and give us success in whatever we pray to Him.

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About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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