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Go back to God in prayer

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | October 25, 2023 | Nehemiah 2:1-5

KEY VERSE:

Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So, I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 2:4 (NKJV)


MESSAGE:

Building upon our reflection from yesterday's devotional, Nehemiah, driven by his deep concern for the welfare of God's people and his ardent passion for the house of God, mustered the courage to share with the king the burdens that weighed heavily on his heart. He spoke from the depth of his heart, revealing the burdens that had weighed heavily on him, even evident in the sadness that marked his countenance while attending to the king's wine.

Yet, this very zeal and concern, which had captured the king's attention, served as a response to Nehemiah's earlier prayer: "Grant me favour before this man." Consequently, the king posed a question, prompting Nehemiah's mind to contemplate the most fitting response.

Having prayed for favour before the king, it became evident through the king's question that the Lord had indeed opened the door of favour. However, this opportunity presented Nehemiah with a metaphorical blank cheque, and our key verse for today illuminates how he chose to complete it. Verses 4 to 5a reveal that, when faced with the king's question, Nehemiah first turned to prayer, seeking guidance from the God of heaven before formulating his response. In a split second, he sought God's approval before addressing the king. His words likely reflected what God had laid on his heart to convey at that moment.

Often in our lives, we pray to God, presenting specific requests. When those prayers are answered through opportunities that God opens for us, there's a tendency to mismanage or even misappropriate the resources these opportunities provide. Nehemiah, however, sets an example. Upon receiving the opportunity from God, he turned back to seek divine wisdom, recognizing the need to make the most of the gracious opening that God had provided.


FEET AND HANDS OF THE MESSAGE

When our prayers are answered, and there's a need for clarity on what is required of us in response, the best course of action is to return to God. Seeking His guidance will illuminate His will concerning our requests and the corresponding answers He provides.


PRAYER Dear heavenly father, help me to acknowledge you in all I do and in all I say. Give me the grace to always be connected to your will for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS. SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: GOD OF HEAVEN

The Phrase God of Heaven is translated in Hebrew as "אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם" and it consists of "אֱלֹהֵי" (Elohei), meaning God, and "הַשָּׁמַיִם" (Hashamayim), meaning heaven


In Biblical Usage, the phrase indicates

  • Divine Sovereignty: The phrase "God of heaven" emphasizes the transcendence and sovereignty of God over all creation, including the heavens. It signifies His authority and rulership over the entire universe.

  • Connection to Covenant: In various instances in the Old Testament, especially in the context of the Jewish people, the phrase is used to reinforce the covenantal relationship between God and His chosen people.

In the context of our devotional for today, Nehemiah, "Praying to the God of Heaven" reveals his:

  1. Recognition of God's Majesty: Nehemiah's choice to pray to the "God of heaven" underscores a recognition of God's majesty and authority. This prompts reflection on approaching God with a deep awareness of His transcendence.

  2. Covenantal Relationship: The use of this title implies a covenantal relationship between Nehemiah and God. In our prayers, we are reminded of our own covenantal relationship with God through Christ.

  3. Submission and Trust: By addressing God as the "God of heaven," Nehemiah acknowledges divine sovereignty and submits his request with trust in the God who holds authority over all things.

Reflections:

How can recognizing God as the "God of heaven" influence the way we approach Him in prayer, and what does this title reveal about our understanding of His sovereignty in our lives?




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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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