Thursday, January 12, 2006

Reverence and Boldness

This morning I come to you Lord with the idea of reverence and boldness. Not a new concept with me, but one that I just heard coined. I am going through Nehemiah again and just feel in love with the way Neh. prays his first recorded prayer.

So many times we are implored by ministers, evangelists, etc. to beg God to bless us. One of the greatest all time selling books was about Bless Me Lord, Enlarge my territories, etc. That is fine and all and I think that God kind of like dares us to ask Him to bless us - as if He hasn't enough already - but there has to come something in our prayer lives before He blesses or before we are so bold to ask for blessings.

In chapter one, Nehemiah starts out with such reverence for our Lord. There are many times we start praying to God and I feel like we never started addressing Him in the right or appropriate manner. It is like we are praying and all of a sudden He says - "Oh you were addressing me. I am not familiar with one just jumping straight to requests or I don't listen until you have made the appropriate exhortations and confessions. We need to make sure you know who you are because I indeed know who I AM!" I know it is not like that possibly, but it could be!

The next thing I love about Nehemiah's prayer is that he includes himself in the confessing. His present duty in life is to rebuild the wall and He may not have had a lot to do with it falling, etc, but yet he still includes himself in the confession. That demonstrates to me a true realization of the Body of Christ. Realizing that when one falls, the whole body suffers - or that is the way we should see it. When one in the family - of Christ - is seeking to destroy their literal family through divorce, we ought to seek out everything possible to see that not happen. It should destroy us in a sense because the "whole" body is getting broken down more. BUT more times than not, we judge, we destroy further, we condemn, we release to the dogs, we wash our hands of it all. That should not be so!

The next thing, I say it all the time in my speaking "You hold God to His Word.", is exactly what Neh says to God. He is reminding God of His past actions in a similar situation with Moses and asking God to do the same. That shows God we have studied His word proving we BELIEVE it and then being bold enough to ask God to do the same again.

Finally in the conclusion of the prayer Neh asks God to bless. Notice all that Neh has gone through to even get to that point in His prayer. Praise, confession, claim promise or past action, and then finally asking for blessing or requests or supplications! It gets too turned around when crisis hits quickly. We go straight to the "give me" part of the prayer and never even mention to God with the slightest bit of reverence who we are addressing. That should not be so!!

Lord, more than anything I want to put my studies to practice. It is great for me to study your WORD and to write about it so I don't forget and to even memorize it, but if I can not practice it in everyday life, what good is it. But I must remember and remind myself of your wonderful promise - "The Word will not return void"!! Praise the Lord!! Work Lord, do what you have to do!


melanie said...

leigh - this was a great read! i learned so much and i can't believe i want to read nehemiah - tx melanie

Leigh Gray said...

dig in it and get a commentary too. Helps so much!!! Love to converse more with you!