God Desires Our Constant Communication.
It’s 2016! Did you have a great 2015? Or like most of us, was your year full of ups and downs? As you think back over the past 365 days, remember to thank God for a year filled with goodness and grace.
Prayer is essential to Christian life. It sustains us here on earth. Daily communication with God strengthens our Christian core. Remember Nehemiah, the cupbearer to king Artaxerxes? It was through prayer that Nehemiah realized God wanted him to go to Jerusalem for a very specific task.
Jerusalem had been destroyed by Babylon in 586 B.C. and the Israelites were carried off as captives. Although the first of three groups of Israelites returned in 538 B.C. and reconstruction on the Temple was completed in 516 B.C., the walls surrounding Jerusalem remained in ruin. It was not until 445 B.C., after three months of prayer, that Nehemiah understood he should go to Jerusalem and oversee the rebuilding.
Nehemiah had consistent contact with God and his fortitude is a perfect example of faithful prayer.
Then I 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
In Nehemiah’s prayer, we learn to lift up God’s name:
- Praise – Tell our Almighty God how wonderful He is.
- Thanksgiving – Thank Him for things He has done in your life and in the lives of those you love.
- Repentance – Confess to God your sins and remorse.
- Specific Requests – God already knows what we want, but He wants us to bring our requests to Him.
- Commitment – Consider then do, to accomplish what you understand God is leading you to do.
Those five elements create a beautiful prayer sequence. And because of Nehemiah’s true devotion to God, his prayers were answered. Not for the greatness of Nehemiah, but for the glory of God (rebuilding the wall surrounding the city of Jerusalem.)
And we can do anything to the glory of God. We can:
- Serve our family.
- Love the unlikeable.
- Battle illness.
- Search out our destiny.
- Believe in commitment.
- Respect those in authority.
- Lift up His name.
Like Nehemiah went to God for direction to rebuild the wall, I also continually go to God in prayer. One of my main prayers is for direction with my MS. After I was diagnosed with this disease three years ago, I have to say it is continually on my mind. It is because of my diet that I have to think about it so much.
I follow a strict plan of eating to combat the effects and progression of this disease. I take no medication, and choose to follow an MS diet: low in saturated fat, no red meat, no gluten or dairy and very low sugar intake. I do take supplements, eat lots of vegetables, nuts, fruit, chicken and try to eat fish. For each meal, whether I am buying groceries, preparing in the kitchen or eating at the table, I have to think about what I ingest each day.
I choose not to overwhelm myself with worry about the negative effects MS can have on my body. Instead, I keep note of changes, visit my doctor yearly, and place my faith and trust in God’s infinite plan for my life.
Trusting God does not mean I never make decisions. God expects me to examine, decipher, then make decisions in situations. It is through constant prayer over all situations that I eventually come to peace with my decision making. If something dramatic does occur to my body I will definitely seek doctor’s advise for the situation.
Trusting God in my MS, to me, comes from prayers I already made to Him these past three years. Continually telling Him my desires, telling Him I accept His plan, telling Him I will do my part to keep myself healthy. Then waiting to understand what His will is. It is a continuous cycle. A Christian prayer cycle that works for any situation.
So like Nehemiah, commit to following a beautiful prayer sequence for the 2016 year: Praise, Thanksgiving, Repentance, Specific Request, Commitment.
Spread the word of a beautiful prayer sequence. Share this post with others.
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