Greatness Occurs When We Leave Me for We

The Real Reason for This Prayer

 Giving Your Prayer the Defense It Needs – Part 2

Look for the real reason you’re in the middle of it.
Make sure you have a real reason for going after your thousand-foot- prayer, your dream, your goal. Look for the real reason you’re in the middle of this thing. Chances are good that you started out on one mission, but it turned into something totally different. For Nehemiah it was building a wall, but he soon found himself in a campaign fighting for his hometown people. What he thought he’d gone to do, quickly changed into something more worthwhile. Now that you’ve been working towards this prayer, what real reason for doing it has arisen in you?

Let’s review the history of Nehemiah; I hesitate to call it his story because when we hear the word story, it’s easy to think of make-believe or fiction. So I say let’s review Nehemiah’s history. 

Nehemiah is in the middle of his prayer activities. He and the people working with him are giving it their all. They find themselves in a famine that’s impacting the land. It’s like the COVID19 pandemic we’re facing. It’s getting in the way of all our plans. They’d given so much to seeing this dream come to pass that they’re on the edge of starvation due to the small supply of food available. Many have mortgaged their fields, vineyards, and homes to get through these tough times. They’ve gone all in with nothing more to give. Do such tough times sound familiar to you? Could it be that you’re giving your all, yet you find yourself in dire straits? While others mortgaged their possesses, others had to borrow money using what they possessed. You might not know much about taking a mortgage against what you own, but you know something about borrowing for what you need. Facing such needs, the people began to complain as you can imagine. That’s what normal people do, you know? And this is what grabbed my attention.

“When I heard their complaints, I was very angry.” – Nehemiah 

Nehemiah heard the complaints and it angered him. When was the last time you got angry because of what was happening to the people you have great love for? Their complaints shake your core. With that said allow me to show you what you face in such an ordeal. Remember you’re doing God’s work, pursuing your dream, or trying to achieve a big goal, and now the people you’re helping, have issues that’re threatening your progress and the success of your project. 

You Run to God, Not From Him
When you face challenges and problems as you pursue your work, the normal response is to turn and walk away when it’s just too much. Face it, you can’t change the pandemic. Nehemiah couldn’t stop the famine, and the problems that were plaguing his people increased as the days went by. At the end of the day, he’d asked them to do something that didn’t appear to be changing their situation, but making it worse. I’d understand if you’d at that moment simply quit. That’s natural. The only problem is, you are not normal and normal practices won’t get you to your promised-land. 

The common response is to run from God, but what would happen to you if you ran to God even the more? Exchanging a normal response with an uncommon approach? We know what the outcome would be if we were to quit. We know what the outcome is for people who run or who are running from God. What we don’t see often enough is what happens when a person runs to Him. It’s time to see what the outcome is for a person who’s decided not to be normal; the person who runs to God.

One is too small of a number to achieve greatness.
In the words of John Maxwell, “one is too small of a number to achieve greatness.” This means you need more than one person, more than yourself. That means you’re in a “we” situation. So let me tell you about “we” to get you stirred up.

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. –

When you’re in a “we” scenario, together you gain confidence that He hears the group whenever the group asks for anything that pleases Him (not what pleases the group). In this “we” scenario what we’re doing is to please His, what He’s asked us to do. Therefore we, as a group, can ask something of Him.

Ordinary people on the other hand always want what pleases themselves. When you’re in an “I” scenario, you want what you want and have little reason to consider what others need which leads us to what pleases Him. It’s that selfish nature that exists in our hearts that causes us to ask for things that may not please Him and only pleases oneself. I’m sure you can think of things you wanted or asked for where you only had you and your motives in mind. 

Here’s another thought rarely considered by the average person. Know that everything that pleases Him is not displeasing to you. In fact what pleases Him will ultimately be more pleasing to you.

Since He hears us as a group, that tells me He’s listening for us. 

Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t know that God is listening. Therefore it would be helpful to know how to determine if He is listening when we pray. So, how can you know that God is listening to us?

In order for God to hear us, we must…

(1) Pray.
You must communicate with Him and do it often. If there is such a thing as talking to God too much, then that’s where we want to be. The more we talk to Him the more opportunities we have to be heard. 

(2) Ask for what pleases Him.
Validate that our request meets His criteria. In other words, does our request please Him? 

When we put these two requirements together, we’ll find that we have His ear.

Sometimes it’s better when the stakes are at its highest and usually this occurs when other people are involved. When you pray a thirty-thousand-foot prayer, it moves from “me” to “we.” It starts with me and it morphs into we. When this happens, you’ll need to understand that:

  • running to God who hears you is the best option,
  • figuring out what in this situation will please Him, and
  • praying prayers that meet His criteria is the best chance to get His attention.

This is how you defend your thirty-thousand-foot prayer from failing. 

Questions: Who are the people you’re doing this “thirty-thousand-foot” prayer for anyway?

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