Praying to a Big God for Big Things
How a person prays reflects much about his or her faith in and knowledge of God. Today we get a look at the prayer lives of three great men of God.
Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love. Nehemiah 13:22
When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them.” Acts 4:23-24
A notable feature of the book of Nehemiah is his prayer life. On a number of occasions, he asks God to “remember him” (Nehemiah 5:19; 13:14, 22, 31). It appears that Nehemiah is comfortable turning to God in the midst of his writing. He shows recognition of God’s holiness and his own need for forgiveness despite his many works of obedience. At times, it seems like he is offering his works as a basis for his acceptance before God, but we should probably not judge him too severely if he did not grasp as fully as we can the grace of God through the atonement for sin made by the Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly, in the verse quoted above, he shows an awareness of and dependence on the love of God.
In Acts, Peter and John have been released from arrest by the chief priests after being warned not to preach in the name of Christ. What do they do? They look for their friends, their fellow believers, they make a report as to what had occurred, and then they begin to pray. How do they address God? They address Him as the “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them.” But notice what they do not request. Do they ask for safety? No! Nor do they pray for the destruction of their enemies. They pray for boldness to keep speaking God’s Word. And God hears their prayer, fills them with His Holy Spirit, and gives them continued boldness.
Think about it
What can you learn from the examples of prayer in the lives of Nehemiah, Peter, and John? Be sure you remember who God is and what He wants of us. Pray to a big God. Pray for big things–things that you know He wants. After all, He is the Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, isn’t He?