How can we grow in conviction to act when God opens doors? Here’s a little about how prayer created courage in my own life.
I got off the phone with her and went to find my journal.
Sure enough, there it was on those ecru pages: a description of what I thought God was saying to me after a 6-week Bible study. A prayer asking Him to weigh my motives, direct my steps, and grant me wisdom followed those observations.
I continued to pray and two months later, that phone call came. The woman on the other end outlined what she was asking me to consider and then ended with, “But I know you’ll want to pray about it first.”
I didn’t need to wait and pray. I had already prayed. This was the answer.
It would have been so much easier to play the “I’ll pray about it and get back to you” card. But asking for a little more time would have been a step of stalling, not a deed of discernment.
And so, my “yes” was ushered in on the many prayers that had preceded that day.
Praying it Forward
Scripture records that Nehemiah launched out on his assignment in much the same way:
The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”
With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied,
“If it please the king …
send me to Judah to rebuild the city
where my ancestors are buried.”
Nehemiah 2:4-5 (NLT)
This conversation between Nehemiah and King Artaxerxes took place in the spring. The previous autumn, Nehemiah had prayed:
“O Lord, please hear my prayer! …
grant me success today
by making the king favorable to me …”
Nehemiah 1:11 (NLT)
And thus, when the king asked, “How can I help you?” Nehemiah saw it as his answer and responded in faith.
Ceaseless prayer had created operational courage in his life.
Nehemiah is one of my favorite Bible heroes to study for this reason. For years, I contemplated how I could be more like him: knowing when to pray and discerning when to act.
Maybe you can relate? If so, travel back to the Scripture above.
In the middle, we find this: “With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied …”
Nehemiah “prayed it forward” as he acted
on what had already been percolating in his prayers.
Applying this in my own life increased my confidence and helped me become the woman in that story who recognized God’s answer to prayers already prayed.
And through this, I’ve learned something else: in the going, God shows me more about how I should go.
I invite you to try it.
If you have prayed, established the plumb line for your thoughts as God’s Word, and been honest before the Lord about your motives, then I encourage you to pray it forward as you act or answer.
After all, God knows our hearts. He knows we want to serve Him. And He is fully capable of redirecting our steps of faith if they are in the wrong direction.
Encouraging You as You inspire others,
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