What was it that caused Nehemiah to achieve such great success? Yes, he rebuilt the walls, he organized people into teams, each family took part, developed ownership for the project and did their job well. But, why did it happen? How did it happen? People can make great plans, rally the troops and still fall short. What is the difference that caused the success?
The answer:: Prayer.
How did Nehemiah pray? What was it about His prayer that got such great results? What is the truth about prayer that can be applied for us today? How can we pray with great power?
1. Acknowledge God’s Greatness. We see this in verse 5. Here in this verse is an expression of Worship. Nehemiah reached up to God in worship. Acknowledging Him as the giver of all that is good.
Nehemiah faced a situation he knew he could not resolve by himself. From a purely human point of view, it was an impossible situation. The wall had been torn down, ruined. The setting and circumstances were not favorable. But Nehemiah also knew that God was not restricted by human limitations. He is the omnipotent God! With Him all things are possible because of who He is! Nehemiah had a proper view of God. In the midst of his own despair, Nehemiah acknowledged God's unfathomable greatness - His incomparable power. Worship for who God is!
2. Remind God of His Promises. Nehemiah reminded God of His covenant with Israel. Again, we see this in verse 5.
Certainly, God didn't need to be reminded of his promises. But it is a powerful lesson to learn in our own prayer life - it pleases the very heart of God to hear his children restate His promises when they are talking to Him. Why? To prove to God:: we listened, we understand, that we actually know what he said and that we believe it. We acknowledge Him as God, as Lord, not our selves. When we trust in the promises of God we must admit that we can't do it by ourselves but rather submit to His authority.
Take the time to read Psalm 139. This is a great reminder of what God has done - and what he has promised to his people.
3. Confess Your Sins. Nehemiah confessed Israel's sin. We see Nehemiah model this for us in verses 6 and 7. The key to praying with power is regular confession and repentance. If we allow sin to build up in our lives, we will become hardened to the things of God. For our prayers to get to the heart of God, we have to be in a right relationship with him.
4. Ask God for Specific Help. Nehemiah asked God for specific help in verse 11.
Be specific in your prayers if you want specific answers.
Nehemiah was unselfish in his prayer. He was not only willing to pray for the Jewish people, but he was willing to be the channel through which God would use to deliver the people out of their desperate situation in Jerusalem. This verse amplifies the divine / human partnership. Nehemiah knew the plan would only succeed with the hand of God, but Nehemiah also was willing to pay the price to be God's instrument.