Summary: Interactive sermon with several impromtu prayers by members of the church family like the praying of Nehemiah when he wanted something more.
From Dr. Reggie Kidd in July/Aug 2009 issue of Worship Leader magazine:
"My father was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. It was hard to watch this once-vibrantly inquisitive retired college professor lost his ability to remember. Along with his ability to remember, he lost his capacity for learning as well.
"For a brief stint, my dad stayed in a facility for the ’pleasantly confused.’ As we were moving him in, I noticed flaps over the elevator controls. ’Why the flaps,” I asked a nurse.
“’It’s how we keep residents from leaving their floor and wandering off.’
"’I don’t get it. How does that work?’
“’A person like your father doesn’t just have memory issues. Because he can’t remember old things, he can’t learn new things either. So no matter how many times he might see someone lift eh flap and press the button underneath, he can’t learn it for himself.”
"In that moment, I realized the phrase ’pleasantly confused’ was a nice way of describing something quite bad: being trapped in the present."
We’re beginning a new pre-series today: "Getting Ready for Something More." During the month of October we’ll share in the series "Something More," but for now we’re just "Getting Ready for Something More."
None of us needs to be "trapped in the present." We don’t need to accept the status quo when God has something more for us.
All of us want something more but all too often we forget that it takes preparation to receive something more.
How about your life? Do you long for something more? When Nehemiah, a Jewish transplant living in Persia, heard how bad things were back home he began to long for something more. His heart began to ache and his eyes began to fill with tears when he heard that Jerusalem was in ruins.
When Nehemiah saw this picture in his mind he did what comes naturally to all God’s people when they long for something more. He prayed. Not just a nice, customary, uninspired routine prayer; Nehemiah got his prayer on!
There are 12 prayers in this book that begins and ends with prayer!
Today, in this first installment of "Getting Ready for Something More," we’re going to do two things: 1) consider a detailed account of Nehemiah’s exemplary prayer, and 2) spend some time in prayer ourselves. We’re going to spend some time praying during the message because prayer isn’t something you just talk about, it’s something you need to practice.
If you want something more in your relationship with God, if you want something more for Pathway Church, if you want something more in your marriage, in your parenting, in your career, in your finances, in your friendships, in your education… if there is any part of your life where you are tired of the mundane and the status quo, if there is a yearning in your heart for more meaning, greater understanding, if you feel a restlessness in your spirit that tells you its time for more out of life, then here’s
How To Pray When You Want Something More
Nehemiah 1:1-4 (NIV)
1. Put food on the back burner.
The words of Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah: In the month Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
The first thing Nehemiah did was to mourn, fast and pray. He was so heartsick that the city of Jerusalem was a wreck that he couldn’t just ignore the situation. He wanted something more for the capital city of his homeland. But he knew that without the help of God “something more” wasn’t going to happen.
Fasting and prayer can be tough but its worth it!
Giving up food is not something our bodies like to do. Yet we need fasting and prayer because it is a tremendously practical tool when you get to the place in your life that you want something more.
I think one reason for this, at least in my own life, is that I don’t always eat because I’m hungry for food. A lot of times I eat because I’m hungry for something more from God. So I need to take a break from food every once in a while to focus on what I’m really hungry for.
Sadly, the spiritual discipline of fasting is so foreign to most Christ followers that we’re like the church that had this announcement in their bulletin.