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Prayer lesson 6: When you pray present your requests clearly

Rev. Enoch Thompson | October 23, 2023 | Nehemiah 1:1-11


Give your servant success today by granting him favour in the presence of this man." Nehemiah 1:11 (NIV)


Prayer includes praise, adoration, thanksgiving, confession of sins, intercession and petition. Nehemiah’s first prayer ends with a petition,Give your servant success today by granting him favour in the presence of this man." He understood the circumstances in which he was operating; they were captured displaced people with no power to do anything on their own, and they were held in subjection by powerful military and political forces which found ultimate expression in the King Artaxerxes. In as much as Nehemiah trusted in God for the solution to the problem his people were in, he realized that he needed the favour of the king in order to proceed. Nehemiah identified the need and presented it clearly in his prayer, Give your servant success today by granting him favour in the presence of this man."

It is important that we think through issues and identify exactly what we need from God. Certainly, God knows what we need but He still requires that we present our needs in prayer; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).

Sometimes our prayers are confused and dispersed, we are not clear on what we ask God to do for us, and we pray without effect. We must put pen to paper, weigh the issues and conclude, with the help of the Holy Spirit capture and express our requests to God. We must also engage the Holy Spirit in His work of intercession, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26 (NIV). Let us collaborate with the groaning Holy Spirit. His groanings may result in our own groanings, in prayer language that we have not learnt.


When you come to prayer still your soul and engage your mind to sort out the issues and to identify the issues that must be presented before the throne of grace.


Dear Lord, gracious and merciful, all-able to do all things and to meet our needs. Thank you for the open door to approach you and to present my petitions before you. I confess that sometimes I am not able to give a good account of what I need, and waste time asking things that are not my real needs.

May the Holy Spirit guide me to know how and for what to parry, so that my prayers will not be amiss. Please help me to truly be in tune with the groaning Holy Spirit in His intercession for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



DAILY word study: SUCCESS

The term "תּוּשִׁיָּה" (Tushiyyah) is translated as "success" in the context of our key verse for today's devotional. It also carries the meaning of favour, prosperity, or good success.

In the bible, it is used to mean:

  • Divine Favor and Success: The concept of "תּוּשִׁיָּה" is often associated with God's favour leading to success. It underscores the idea that genuine success comes from God's gracious intervention.

  • Alignment with God's Will: In biblical terms, success is not merely about personal achievements but aligning one's endeavours with God's will. It reflects a state of well-being that comes from walking in harmony with God.

In our contemplation of the word success in Nehemiah 1:11, we learn about:

  1. God-Centered Success: Reflecting on the term "success" in Nehemiah's prayer invites us to consider success from a God-centered perspective. It's not just about personal achievements but about aligning our goals with God's purposes.

  2. The Role of Favor: Success, as portrayed in the biblical usage of "תּוּשִׁיָּה," is intertwined with divine favour. This emphasizes the importance of seeking God's favour rather than relying solely on human efforts.

  3. The Context of Nehemiah's Prayer: Nehemiah seeks success not for personal glory but to fulfil a mission—a mission aligned with God's purposes. This challenges us to view success as a means to advance God's kingdom.


How does your understanding of success align with the biblical concept of seeking divine favour and aligning your endeavours with God's will?

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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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