Hi everyone :)
May God's wonderful grace shine upon your lives now and
Devotional Times (Psalm 16, Proverbs 16, and Nehemiah
" Then I said, "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and
awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and
obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and
day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even
my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the
commands, laws, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
"Please remember what you told your servant Moses: `If you sin, I will scatter
you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands, 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.' "We are your servants, the people you rescued
by your great power and might. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the
prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success now
as I go to ask the king for a great favor. Put it into his heart to be kind to
me. "In those days I was the king's cup-bearer. " (Nehemiah 1:5-11)
This passage has shown me 5 types of prayer.
1. Prayer of Praise (Nehemiah 1:5)
2. Prayer of Intercession (Nehemiah 1:6a)
3. Prayer of Confession: Corporate & Individual (Nehemiah 1:6b-7)
4. Prayer of Promise (Nehemiah 1:8-9)
5. Prayer of Dependence (Nehemiah 1:10-11)
Today, I focused on Nehemiah's 'Prayer of Dependence' specifically. As I
looked at all the prayers, all of them are a prayer of dependence culminating in
the conclusion of Nehemiah's prayer.
"We are your servants, the people you rescued by your
great power and might. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of
those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success now as I go to
ask the king for a great favor. Put it into his heart to be kind to me."
Nehemiah acknowledged a lot of things showing His dependence on the Lord:
1. Nehemiah acknowledged that they were the Lord's servants.
2. Nehemiah acknowledged that they were the people rescued by God's great
power and might.
3. Nehemiah acknowledged that success comes if the Lord hears them and
listens to them.
He realizes that it is hard to get prayers answered if he lives life his own
way independently of the Lord. This is evidenced by him telling the Lord that
there still are those who delight in honoring the Lord. He needs success in
going and asking the king for a great favor. He realizes without the Lord's help
the great favor will not be given. This was evidenced to me by his request to
the Lord to 'put into the king's heart to be kind to him.'
I saw important implications for my own life in Nehemiah's prayers.
We live in such an individualistic society that it can be so tempting to just
depend on ourselves in the degrees we have, the money we have, the talents we
have, etc. Sadly, the Lord does not come into the picture.
When we do fail and mess up, it becomes easy to dwell on that failure and not
try anymore. Why? Because we feel we have given our
best and there is not anything else we can do. The dependence is still on
ourselves. I had to deal with that.
There have been many times that I was dependent on myself to get things done.
The mentality was my way or no way. My Lord had to show me many times that I
needed to trust in the Lord completely and not on myself. I needed to
acknowledge him in all my ways and that He would then direct all my needs and
crown my efforts with success. That is such a powerful promise from Proverbs
The more I was self-sufficient, the more I found myself in trouble. I am
talking about self-sufficiency without the Lord in the picture. It is
self-sufficiency that led to the Fall of humanity and sin. Yet, how many times I
go back to that kind of self-sufficiency. I thought I had the answers to change
things but without the Lord's help, the answers will not come to fruit properly.
I am reminded of God's Word that states unless the Lord builds the house, our
toiling is in vain from Psalm 127.
Nehemiah knew that God alone could rescue His people once again.
Nehemiah could have gone and asked the king the great favor whatever that was
going to be. Yet, he subjected himself to a prayer life of dependence on the
Lord. That is so uplifting to see him turn to the Lord in his direst
circumstances and not depend on his abilities alone. He asks the Lord to put it
upon the king's heart to grant Nehemiah the great favor. I learned so much from
the character of Nehemiah.
I ask you now dear friends where is your dependence on?
Dear friends, it can be so easy many times to just depend on ourselves to get
things done. We can focus on degrees, money, talent, fame, etc to get things
done. But as history shows and our current generation shows, all the degrees,
money, talent, fame etc will not accomplish a lot of things without the Lord's
intervention. The Lord needs to intervene as we depend on Him. At the same time,
we should not stop attaining the education the Lord wants us to have. It will
not make sense for us to be silent and then ask the Lord to bring changes in our
lives or other people's lives. We need to depend on the Lord and do our part. If
we want to be a doctor, let us depend on the Lord to help us do our best without
just praying that we want to be a doctor, etc. When we depend on Him, since He
knows what is best for us at all times, He could very well take us in another
direction but it will be in His wonderful plan.
I am reminded of Proverbs 16:3 from my
devotional times: "Commit your work to the Lord and it
will succeed"! Amen!
"We make the plans but the final outcome is in the
Lord's hands" (Proverbs 16:1)
"We should make the plans counting on the Lord to help
and direct us" (Proverbs 16:9)
Nehemiah understood those concepts. May we understand those too. Jesus
promises to intervene in our lives. Will we let Him? Or
will we be bound by the circumstances we are in and our own
self-sufficiency? What choice will we make? Will we continue to be independent
apart from the Lord or will we come to surrender to Him completely? The
Lord desires our surrender. He will take care of the rest. That is exciting to
He promises us: "Remain in me, and I will remain in
you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you
cannot be fruitful apart from me. "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from
me you can do nothing." (John 15:4-5)
That is God's promise for you and me. What is more exciting is when Nehemiah
asks the Lord to put it into the king's heart to grant him the great favor. This
should excite you and me when we are dependent on the Lord.
Friend what are you going through right now? Do you
need to get into grad school? Do you need a job that pays your bills? Do you
need financial assistance? Do you need a relationship that is broken to be
mended? Do you need a family miracle? Whatever you are faced with, you
can bring the situation into the Lord's Helping Hands.
He can put it into people's hearts to grant you what you need. Yes, He can!
Wait upon Him and do not give up. He is your Lord and loves you so much. He
is your Inheritance, Rock, Food and Drink. He will guide you in the path that
you should go. He is the One that can change hearts. Wait on Him and don't give
up. Turn God's Word into a prayer as you read it and meditate on it.
"Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for
refuge. I said to the LORD, "You are my Master! All the good things I have are
from you." The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in
them! Those who chase after other gods will be filled with sorrow. I will not
take part in their sacrifices or even speak the names of their gods." (Psalm
"LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of
blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant
land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at
night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be
shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is filled with joy, and my
mouth shouts his praises! My body rests in safety." (Psalm 16:5-9)