Saturday, July 23, 2016

praise the LORD, and pass the ammunition

The Word for today:
Nehemiah 4
We often think of prayer as something contemplative.
So Nehemiah, being an action figure, is often overlooked when we search for insight into prayer.
But lately I have found, in Nehemiah, more instruction on prayer--and more inspiration to pray--than almost anywhere else in the Bible.
Yesterday we learned about prayer in the midst of action. Today we will learn how God often activates answers to prayer through--are you ready?--through us.
For example, you pray that your family will more closely follow God. Now take a look at that prayer from God's point of view. Who on earth is better positioned and more motivated to lead them forward than--are you ready?--than you? Taking spiritual leadership, then, in your formerly leaderless home, you are God's answer to your prayer.
You pray that your church would be more Bible-loving and Bible-literate. Now look at that prayer from God's point of view: Who is hungrier, more motivated, and more impassioned concerning that prayer than--are you ready--than you? So, ordering two study Bibles, Strong's Concordance, Unger's Bible Dictionary, and the complete commentaries of John MacArthur and J. Vernon McGee, you wait on the porch for the big brown truck to pull into your driveway. Perhaps you are not aware of it, but the answer to your prayer is on your porch, days before the UPS truck arrives.
Your church is cold. No, the heating works fine, but that blazing Jesus compassion is nowhere to be found. So you pray for the spark to be kindled. Looking at that prayer from God's point of view, guess who he found to stoke the fires of compassion?
We must realize that God prepares ahead of time. He gives spiritual gifts, he grows spiritual fruit. Then, by his Spirit, he prompts a prayer asking for their implementation.
Nehemiah knew this principle well:
We prayed to our God and posted a guard. (4:9)
Remember the LORD...and fight. (4:14)
Having prayed for safety, each person held a trowel in one hand, and a sword in the other. (4:16-17)
People might protest that this isn't "faith." I strenuously disagree.
When are we going to learn that we are supernaturally called, commissioned, gifted, fruited, empowered--and then prompted to pray the very prayer that--are you ready?--that we have been prepared to fulfill.
You are the body of Christ. You are God's supernatural plan. So praise the LORD, and pass the ammunition.

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