Prayer is God’s chosen means of getting HIS will done on earth. It is the way He keeps us connected to Him, aware of our need for Him, fostering intimacy with Him. Surely it is beyond our ability to comprehend, but prayer is the key that unlocks the door of His power. Mysterious, but true.
It is always God who moves and acts to answer our petitions, but sometimes He calls us to be part of His answer. Let’s consider Nehemiah 4:9 – “But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.” In this passage, we see God’s people rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem which had long been devastated by her enemies. They were excited and hopeful about their future, but threats by outsiders quickly discouraged them. In verse 9, we see Nehemiah’s response.
They prayed. Oh, yes, they prayed. Many times before, they had witnessed God’s intervention in their lives. They knew that He was their source, their refuge in times of trouble. And it was to Him they turned.
But we also see that Nehemiah understood that they were part of His answer. They didn’t only pray; they stood guard against invaders, equipped with swords and spears and shields, ready to protect the wall from attack. They stood on the truth of God’s provision – verse 20 says “Our God will fight for us” – but they also knew they had a part to play – verse 16 says “From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail.”
So, as we pray, crying out to God for His deliverance from our problems, let’s consider if perhaps He would have us be part of the answer. If our need is financial, maybe He wants us to take an extra job for a while. If we are burdened by a relationship, it could be that He directs us to initiate reconciliation or maybe it’s fasting, or giving to meet someone else’s need, or stepping out of our comfort zone to serve. Or….let’s just ask Him and see!