Putting in the Work Starts With the First Step

How Important It Is to Begin With Right Steps

My Thirty-Thousand-Foot Prayer At Work – Part 2

As the work began, Nehemiah and those helping him dedicated their work. They took the time to thank God for the fruit of their labor. They stopped for a moment to give God thanks for moving them closer to seeing their prayer answered. Before you can see the results of the labor you put in, you must get off to a good start. How you start your work will give a good indication on how you’ll end the work or even if you’ll finish the work at all.

Prayer is like a set of stepping stones. 

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. – bible.com/bible/100/MRK.11.24.NASB

Don’t be alarmed if you fall into the category of believers who pray general (thirty-thousand-foot) prayers like:

Lord heal my family.
Bring peace to the world.
Help me get out of debt.
Bless my friends.

Praying prayers like this means that you are normal. Common. It’s hard to believe such general prayers will ever be answered. We usually pray such lines because we feel it’s the right thing to do and we wish things were better. The one thing you should consider is that if you don’t believe the prayer you prayed will be answered, you can be sure 9 times out of 10 they won’t be answered. 

Here’s a helpful tip to bring your answered prayers from 1 out of 10 to 8 (or more) out of 10. Try being more specific. For example, if you are praying for your debts, start by writing them all down on a note card. Target the smallest and pray to make an impact on the debt with your next paycheck.

You should be so specific when you pray, that time to pray, starts to become an issue. You run out of time because you have so many items to present to God. As God answers them one by one, you will become more confident and be just that much closer to the bigger prayer being answered. It’s really a fun process. Yes, a process.

Know that prayer is like a set of stepping stones. You should always ask God what the next step should be. It’s what I call the principle of the “next step.” The next step principle means you either accomplished the last step or He has given you a new step. In discussing your next step, I must caution you about the first step you take. Let’s take a look at one of the first steps Nehemiah took in seeing his thirty-thousand-foot prayer answered.

With the Right First Step Comes Uncommon Help

Then Eliashib the high priest and the other priests started to rebuild at the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set up its doors, building the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and the Tower of Hananel. – bible.com/bible/116/NEH.3.1-4.NLT

It almost surprised me when I saw this in the text, “the high priest and the other priests started to rebuild.” The priest got their hands dirty. The anointed priests were led to assist Nehemiah, the cup-bearer, in his mission. When you perform the work of a thirty-thousand-foot prayer, we must remember that a prayer is nothing ordinary. And when we do something that’s not ordinary, we can not expect ordinary results, reactions, or even assistance with what we have to accomplish. Be on the lookout for some extraordinary help to come your way.

Nehemiah started his steps, his work with a dedication, something unheard of so that he would not experience common results when working on such a project. Instead he would experience  results that have been favored by God. 

What type of people will you have doing the work of your thirty-thousand-foot prayer? A thirty-thousand-foot prayer is not a normal prayer. It’s one that will take some God-interventions to see come to past. So who will you get to join you on your mission? I hate to tell you this, but you won’t be able to take your regular friends on this journey. 

Nehemiah had some priests working with him who would dedicate their work. The way you start your project is important for its success. As a result of dedicating their work, others joined in. The priest dedicated the work. You know what a dedication does. It’s a celebration, but with a purpose.

When you dedicate a child, you dedicate the child to God and the parents vow to raising a godly child. The priest in this case held a celebration which not only dedicated the work of the mission (the thirty-thousand-foot prayer), but the workers who would get involved in the work of this mission. In other words, whose ever hands performed work to rebuild this wall, their hands would be blessed by God. Who can you find that’s willing to have their hands blessed by God? This is not some ordinary stuff. 

So here we are, making our first next step. This first stepping stone you must make is very important. You don’t want to miss the first stepping stone for then you’re off the path right from the start. Find those who take the work, your work seriously, because accomplishing and completing this work is at stake.

Question: How can you rearrange your prayer requests, so that you are more specific to get you started?

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