“O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” (Nehemiah 1.11)
Have you ever noticed that some prayers are answered while others are not?
A fascinating study is the prayers God answers. Some people faced impossible circumstances, yet they prevailed with God to receive miraculous blessings. Others have prayed and nothing happened. Wouldn’t you like to know why?
Nehemiah recognized that God had made him cupbearer to the king of Persia for a reason. His job carried with it both privilege and responsibility. Certainly the king had power to change the miserable situation in Jerusalem. But Nehemiah knew that he could do nothing without the LORD’s help. When Nehemiah prayed did he believe that God would really do something?
Positioning is everything. We don’t pray to move God; we pray to move us. As we align ourselves with God’s purposes, prayers are heard and answered; kingdom purposes are accomplished.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5.14–15)
Nehemiah’s motive in approaching the king was not to please himself; he delighted in honoring God. He knew that God’s heart toward the nation was not to harm them but to give them a future and a hope (Jer. 29.11). If Nehemiah succeeded in moving the heart of the king it would restore hope to the nation and glorify God. In the same way, if we want God to grant us success in our petitions then we need to know His will and pray and work for His glory. We need to fully engage His purposes with all the power and resources He supplies.
Prayers that move the hand of God understand the divine will and by faith appropriate the omnipotent for His kingdom.
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