Four Secrets To Pray As A Leader
God is looking for people whom He can use. It looks for leaders, while we, instead, tend to look for the best methods, the best mechanics, and the best motivations. All the while, God says, "I'm looking for the best people, leaders who are men and women of God." To become a man or woman of God, we need a life of intense prayer and Nehemiah shows us the secrets to pray as a leader.
Have you ever realized that you can learn a lot about a person through his prayers? A conservative prayer indicates a withered spirit. An egoistic prayer also indicates a selfish spirit. I heard prayers that looked like Christmas shopping lists, and "striking" prayers simply indicating an arrogant and proud heart.
Nehemiah, on the other hand, prayed for four whole months without slackening when he heard of the fall of Jerusalem. It was not a prayer by chance, and it gives us a model for answered prayers.
You should pray knowing already how God could respond to your prayer: "I expect you to answer this prayer because you are God. You are a faithful God. You are a good God. You are a God full of love. You are a wonderful God. You can handle this problem, God."
Nehemiah approached God and said, "Lord God, I want you to do something for Jerusalem."
In verse 5 he says, "O LORD, O God of heaven, Great and Redoubtable God, who keep your covenant and show mercy to those who love you and keep your commandments."
In this passage, Nehemiah points out three things about God: "You are great", referring to God's position. "You are fearsome", alluding to his power. "You fulfill your promises", referring to God's commitment.
In the first place, Nehemiah recognized the personality of God and His greatness. When you pray, say: "Lord God, I would like you to answer my prayer because you are God. You gave us all these promises. You are the faithful God, God of love and merciful."
These are all characteristics of God and one of the secrets so that God hears a prayer is to base your requests according to His personality.
After Nehemiah had based his prayer on the personality of God, he had acknowledged his sins. He said to God, "We have sinned."
Observe how many times he used the words "I" and "We": "I confess ... .."myself" ... ..and "my father's house" ....... "We acted badly...." "We did not obey .."
It was not because of Nehemiah's fault that his people had gone into captivity!! He was not even born yet when it happened seventy years ago. And even though he was probably born in captivity, Nehemiah considered himself a sinner, he did not exclude himself from the sin of his people.
He says, "I was part of the problem."
There is the notion of individual confession and the notion of the confession of the whole nation. It is something we do not understand well in America: We do not have the sense of the overall sin. We are very individualistic. We have been taught to confess only our individual sins: "My sins."
What was the last time you confessed the sin of the whole nation? Or the sins of your family? Or those of your Church? Or your friends? We do not think that way. We are very individualistic. Our society has taught us only to be responsible for ourselves. But, in reality, this is not true !! You are the guardian of your brother, we are guardians of each other together.
It is also a basic principle of a good leader: The leaders accept the reproaches, but the losers do not accept them. If you want to become a leader, you will have to accept blame and share responsibility. The losers are always accusers and full of excuses. They are always apologizing for why things did not happen or could not happen. For them, it is always the other who is at fault, not them.
The leader accepts the reproaches.
When Nehemiah prayed to the Lord, He said, "Remember these words that You gave has an order to Moses your servant!"
Can you imagine telling God, "Remember?"
Nehemiah "reminds" God of the command He gave to Moses telling him that the day the Jewish people lost their faith, they would also lose the possession of Israel, their nation. But God also promised them that if they repented, He would give them back the land. From one end of the Bible to the other, the people of Israel have always reminded them of their promises.
King David had done it, Abraham had done it as well as Moses, all the Prophets did it. They said, "Lord God, I would like to remind you of one of your promises" and they shared it. In reality, does God need to be reminded of these things? No.
Forget His promises? No.
Why do we do it then? Because it allows us to remember the promises of God. Nothing satisfies God as much as when He is reminded of His promises.
Do children forget a promise? Never.
So you have to be very careful when you do it. The Bible says of us that we are imperfect fathers, and if we, imperfect fathers, know that we must fulfill our promises, how much more would Father Perfect, our Heavenly Father who is just waiting to accomplish, to fulfill His promises?
If you want specific answers to your prayer, you must also have very specific requests. If your queries are very general, how will you know when they will be answered? Nehemiah did not hesitate to pray for success. He was very brave in his prayer.
Have you never prayed, "Lord God, make me succeed?" If no, why did not you ever do it? What is the alternative? A failure?
There is nothing wrong with praying for success if only what you do will ultimately be for the glory of God. Pray with confidence. Pray that God will give you success in your ministry for the glory of God.
It was the prayer of Nehemiah, and it is an ever valid prayer.
Note that if you cannot ask God to bless what you do, you'd better start doing something else instead. If you do not know how to ask God to make you successful in what you do, you should do something else. Our Lord does not want you to ruin your life.
Thanks for reading.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
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