How Is Your Christian Prayer Life?
Christian prayer is a reference to a Christian communicating with God, often by way of talking or thinking. Every Christian ought to make time to pray.
In Nehemiah 4:7-14, the people of God had made progress on rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem. Sanballat and others rose up with negative comments. And even among the people of God there were negative comments.
It used to be a popular expression among young people ("young people" change so quickly, especially in the eyes of "old people" - smile) in describing those who were talking negatively about them to say that the negative commentators were "hating" on them.
In spite of the negative comments or "hating" in our text, Nehemiah urged the people to prayerfully keep on working.
When we make progress in doing what God is calling us to do, we should not be surprised when negativity comes from those around us and sometimes even out of our own mouths. We should not be surprised when the "haters" come.
However, if we continue to prayerfully work towards God’s calling on our lives, we can make it. The thesis (i.e., message in a sentence) of this series of devotionals, "When the 'Haters' Come," is that we should counter negativity with prayerful work.
In this devotional, let's focus on the matter of your Christian prayer life. Instead of waddling in negativity, we should work on our prayer life.
Notice that Nehemiah urged the people to remember the greatness and awesomeness of God. Every believer should make time every day to pray, to talk with God.
Our Christian praying should include praise and thanksgiving for God being such a great and awesome God in our lives.
When we think about how great God is then our troubles lose their power to intimidate us. When we think about how awesome God is then our storms lose their grip of fear on our hearts.
And when we think about how this great and awesome God loves us then we like Daniel can face the lions’ den. We like the Hebrew boys can face the fiery furnace. We like Abram can leave our country with confidence that God will make away (see Gen. 12:1-5).
We like Black fore parents who sung songs of faith in the burning hot fields of the south during slavery and who faced water hoses and biting dogs during the civil rights movement - we like they can sing a happy song in unhappy times.
There is power in remembering the greatness and awesomeness of God, in our prayer life. These memories will be more vivid, if we make time to study God’s Word and surround ourselves with people who know and live for God.
No wonder Colossians 3:16 teaches us to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” There is power in having the right people around us.
How would you grade your praying on a daily basis?
What are you going to do to improve?
How would you grade your prayer life including praise, thanksgiving, confession, interceding for others, and making your requests known to God with a clause that says "let Your will be done"?
What are you going to do to improve?
Great and awesome God, I praise You for being such an awesome God who has a marvelous plan for Your people. I thank You for saving me and allowing me to be numbered among Your people. I thank You for allowing me to be among those who You have called to do great things.
I confess that I have not always done my best to discern and obey Your will for my life. I pray that You would forgive me for this and my many others sins, in the name of Jesus.
Please help me to work even harder at making progress in carrying out Your will for my life.
Help me stay focused, even when "haters" come into my life. Help me to pray right. I thank You, in the name or your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Dr. Robert E. Baines, Jr.
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