“Pray for . . .”

It is no coincidence that in doing some major study through chapter one of Nehemiah yesterday that I would hear throughout the day via phone conversations, text messages and emails, the following:  “Pray for my unsaved sister!”  “Pray for the salvation of a dear friend.”  “Pray for my son who has returned to the Lord and is starting to faithfully attend church!”  “Pray for a miracle in regards to my grandchildren.”  “Pray for my wife’s health.”  “Pray for a wayward son!”  “Pray for my upcoming surgery as well as where we will be come this summer.” What a sincere privilege to hear the heart of someone share their need, their burden, and then join them at the Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Prayer.  Something we hear talked about; we run to in times of trouble or confusion; or is sadly lacking in our lives.  Nevertheless, as I have studied Nehemiah in recent days, one truth has stood out to me.  When Nehemiah heard the report of distress, disrepair, and disregard in Jerusalem, he did not run to take matters into his own hands.  He did what Genesis 1:1 reminds us for all of life, “In the beginning, God.”  In response to the news, he began with God.  When he started praying, he began with God acknowledging His character before sending up his petitions.  When a prayer burden comes your way– in the beginning, God.  When you don’t what to pray for—in the beginning, God.  The greatest way to share in prayer for others, for a time of distress, disrepair and/or disregard, start with God.  He is the Alpha and the Omega and all in between!  So when someone says, “Pray for . . . “, immediately begin with God.

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