Summary: If you want God to use you to build His Kingdom, pray things through; think things through; and then follow through.
In the Christian Reader, Glynn Jensen, from Rome, NY, talks about a cold winter day when his entire family was snug in their warm house. Everyone that is, except for their six-year-old Jonathan, who insisted on playing out in the snow. As Glynn walked by an upstairs window, he noticed Jonathan had made a giant snowball in the yard across the street.
Glynn’s wife stopped by to see what he was so interested in. Just then, Jonathan began to roll the giant snowball across the street. Their other three children joined them as they began chuckling to themselves. Jonathan had reached their side of the street with his snowball and was trying desperately to get it up the curb.
After a few unsuccessful tries at pushing it, he backed up about ten feet for a running start. Failing again, he tried lifting it and finally in frustration gave it a kick! Suddenly, he knelt in front of the snowball with his hands folded and head bowed. Glynn immediately dispatched his nine-year-old, Jeana, to help the Lord answer Jonathan's prayer. (Glynn E. Jensen, Rome, NY, Christian Reader, “Lite Fare”; www.PreachingToday.com)
We’ve just completed 40 days of prayer, so the question comes: Now what? What are we supposed to do now that we have committed our concerns to the Lord in prayer?
Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to the book of Nehemiah, where Nehemiah himself shows us what he did after he prayed for revival in his nation. We looked at his prayer last week in chapter 1, so we’ll pick it up in chapter 2. Nehemiah 2, where we begin to see what’s next after a season of prayer. Nehemiah 2, starting at vs.1 “In the month Nisan…”
According to Nehemiah 1:1, Nehemiah began praying in the month Chislev – That’s mid-November to mid-December in our Calendar. Now, it is the month Nisan – mid-March to mid-April – four months later!
What do you suppose Nehemiah was doing during those four months? Well, I believe he spent those months in prayer. It wasn’t just one prayer and done, no! Nehemiah kept on praying until God began to answer his prayer. He spent four months in prayer! And that’s what we need to do after we have prayed. We don’t stop praying, no! We keep on praying until God begins to answer our prayers too. We do what that old saints used to call it, and…
PRAY THINGS THROUGH.
Ask and keep on asking until you are assured of an answer. It’s the key to God accomplishing His wonderful plan through us.
Nehemiah spent four months in prayer, after which it only took him 52 days, according to Nehemiah 6:15, to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. That’s less than two months! Nehemiah spent more than twice as much time in prayer as he did working to get the job done, and that was critical to his success. It’s critical to our success, as well.
Edmund Gravely and his wife, Janice, were on their way to Statesboro, Georgia, from the Rocky Mount-Wilson airport in North Carolina. Ed was flying their small plane when he suddenly died at the controls. His wife, Janice, didn’t know how to fly the plane, but she kept it in the air for two hours until it ran out of fuel. During this time she sang hymns and prayed for help.
As the plane crossed the South Carolina – North Carolina border, she radioed for help: “Help, help, won’t someone help me? My pilot is unconscious. Won’t somebody help me?”
Authorities, who picked up her distress signal, were not able to reach her by radio during the flight, because she kept changing channels. Mrs. Gravely finally made a rough landing and crawled 45 minutes to a farmhouse for help. (Bible Illustrator #2820; 8/1987.10)
How like so many of God’s people. They cry out to God for help, but switch channels before they get a reply. They turn to other sources in a frantic search for answers. They try other things and then wonder why God doesn’t answer them.
That’s not the way effective prayer works. When you cry out to God, don’t switch channels! Instead, stay on the prayer channel, and keep on praying until God comes through. If you want to see some amazing answers to prayer, if you want to see revival come to our land, then don’t stop praying! Pray things through until God responds. But don’t just pray…
THINK THINGS THROUGH, as well.
In the context of prayer, think about what God wants you to do. While you are praying, ask God to direct your thoughts and consider a plan. Put together a strategy that moves you in the right direction.
Notice I did not say make your own plans and ask God to bless them, no! Rather, in the context of prayer, ask God to give you His plan, which He will bless no matter what.\ That’s what Nehemiah did. In fact, his planning becomes very evident as he talks to the king.