Brokenness & Humility
This summer in Uptown we have been studying the superheroes of the Bible. For example, Moses was humble, Noah was obedient, Abraham was faithful, and Deborah was a leader. After we hear the story, we talk about ways to put this special superpower to work in our lives. One of my favorite Bible superheroes isn’t often read about in children’s Bibles, but he made a huge impact. I remember his story being told briefly as a child, but when I first went into ministry full time, I did an in-depth study into his story. His story included courage and standing against the enemy. His story is about someone who gave up the comforts of his life to show love to an entire nation that had lost their focus on God. His accomplishment was something the entire people of Jerusalem had not been able to accomplish for nearly 100 years, yet his project was finished in less than 2 months. His name was Nehemiah and his superpower was prayer.
In Nehemiah 1:4 it says, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
Following this verse is an incredible prayer asking for God’s forgiveness for his people back home and God’s provision to change their lives. It was after this prayer that Nehemiah had the courage to ask the king for permission to return to Jerusalem, share his plan with the leaders, and rally a nation to rebuild their walls in 52 days! When I look at Nehemiah’s prayer, I see a few things that are evident. Nehemiah’s prayer was a prayer of brokenness and humility. He knew that God was the only one who could do something about the situation, but in order to have God on his side, Nehemiah needed to set things straight with God.
The second thing was a bold request and a trust that God would provide. When I started using these elements in my prayer life, I saw a dramatic change in the effectiveness. When I don’t have humility, brokenness, bold requests, trust, and a dependence on God’s Word, there is a noticeable difference.
A few weeks ago I was reminded of effective prayers again when we experienced God doing something incredible for the children in Liberia. For the past 6 years there has been a ban on adoptions for healthy children. When Oretha, our orphanage director was in Lexington, it was clear to her that this ban would continue at least the next 2 years. We prayed boldly for God to lift the moratorium. The result of these prayers came on June 30, 2015, when the Liberian president surprisingly lifted the ban for all children. We continue to pray that God will raise up sponsors to connect with these amazing children. I am excited to see how God responds to these prayers and ask you to join in praying with us for these precious children.