Nehemiah Shows Us How To Pray

You Can Break The Normal 30-Thousand-Foot Prayer Life Cycle

Introduction to the 30 Thousand Foot Prayer – Part 11

Nehemiah’s story illustrates the 30-thousand-foot prayer. Nehemiah gives us an example to follow. I chose Nehemiah because his story is a perfect illustration for how the 30-thousand-foot prayer works. You might know his story, but if you don’t, you’re in for a treat. Nehemiah prayed a big prayer, his big prayer was answered, and so can yours if you follow Nehemiah’s example.  Let’s agree that we’ll do it like Nehemiah, stay with us to see how it’s done and how his request turned out. Trust me it’s nothing like you’d commonly think.

We get to go through the 30-thousand-foot life cycle and what happened to Nehemiah, when his 30-thousand-foot prayer didn’t work out. He experienced what we all have normally experienced when praying a big prayer. Keep in the back of your mind that normal and prayer doesn’t go together. Prayer isn’t normal and normal people don’t pray. Let’s walk through the normal 30-thousand-foot prayer life cycle with Nehemiah and see what we can glean from it.

Nehemiah’s Big Problem
Every 30-thousand-foot prayer begins with a big problem.

“Hanani, one of my [Nehemiah’s] brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah.
I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah.
They are in great trouble and disgrace.
The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” – bible.com/116/neh.1.2-4.nlt  

Nehemiah received word from someone important and close to him, his brothers. Often time, our big problems come from those who are closest to us. Would you agree? Nehemiah wanted to know the status of their family’s beloved city. 

What’s interesting here is that the people directly impacted by what was happening back home didn’t see this as a big prayer problem for them, however Nehemiah saw differently. What’s good to note here is that others won’t always see or be impacted in the same way by the problems we see and face. Your problem isn’t always another’s problem hence the reason it becomes your prayer request.

Nehemiah Has No Other Alternative But To Pray
The Bible records that Nehemiah prayed.

“When I heard this, I sat down and wept.
In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer!
Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel.” – bible.com/116/neh.1.4-6.nlt

There is nothing that Nehemiah could do about this huge problem, but pray. The problem was too big for any one person. The problem was too costly for any one person to finance. The problem was too big to grasp a solution. I’ll stop here to note that Nehemiah also mourned and fasted. Mourning is a sign of when all hope has been lost and the situation is pretty dead. Have you ever been there? Have you ever encountered a problem of this magnitude? Have you ever been presented with such a 30-thousand-foot prayer? What Nehemiah was feeling is normal and I can assure you that a normal solution and even a normal prayer response wasn’t going to resolve the 30-thousand-foot issue.

Nehemiah Wanted Results Right Away
Nehemiah’s request is urgent. He’s spending his time day and night praying.

“listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel.” – bible.com/116/neh.1.6.nlt

When was the last time you prayed for something day and night? I bet that was a serious (30-thousand-foot) request. Nehemiah was looking for an answer right away. He wanted God to remember His people and do something quick; do something now.

Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’” – bible.com/116/neh.1.8-9.nlt

You have to admit that the problem is big. There’s no doubt about that. However, not once did he consider that this problem didn’t happen overnight. The walls of the vast city weren’t torn down all at once. The destruction of the city didn’t just occur the day before. Even destruction takes some time. However, when we view our requests from 30-thousand-feet, we make the assumptions that it all happened quickly and it can be resolved quickly. That’s normal and when it doesn’t happen in our assumed timing, we move to the next phase of the normal 30-thousand-foot prayer life cycle.

Nehemiah DOESN’T Give Up On Prayer
This is where Nehemiah shows us how to break
the normal 30-thousand-foot prayer life cycle. It’s in this phase that Nehemiah’s 30-thousand-foot prayer differs from the norm. 

“In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.” – bible.com/116/neh.1.11.nlt

Nehemiah took an account of his situation and who he was. I’m nothing special he says. Nothing more than the king’s cup bearer. He knew in order to help his people it would require him to have some help. Normal isn’t enough to resolve my issue. Normal isn’t good enough to help my family, God’s people. With normal people, they would have just given up on the dream. They’d throw it off as if there’s nothing that could be done and simply live with that which plagues them. This wasn’t Nehemiah. Here’s what he said to God [His only alternate] following his admission of who he was in the natural. Who he was under the normal conditions. Who he was on a normal day. 

“O Lord, please hear my [30-thousand-foot] prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” – bible.com/116/neh.1.11.nlt

This is where I’d like to nudge you. It’s time to ask God to give you favor with the person who has the power to help you. That just might be your company. I’ve had that happen in my life. In fact, God sold my company to another so that He could help me walk out my 30-thousand-foot prayer. Will you be bold enough to pray like Nehemiah? Will you be courageous enough that when you get to the fourth phase of the life cycle you won’t do like most and quit, but rather don’t give up?

In which step in your prayer results will you alter by taking a different path than the norm? Nehemiah’s story explains why his character made it into the Bible, the book of extraordinary people. He took uncommon actions when he prayed his 30-thousand-foot prayer and I’m about to share what he did with you. 

I get to take you through what made Nehemiah’s 30-thousand-foot prayer different than the norm. Nehemiah started his prayer as a cup-bearer, but after his 30-thousand-foot prayer answer he was much more. Are you ready to be transformed? That’s what happens when you pray a 30-thousand-foot prayer unlike others.

Join me next week as we begin the journey with Nehemiah. Until then, do me a huge favor and share this message. 

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