Nehemiah 2:1-6, 11-20
What does it say? What does it mean? Why does it matter?
Jerusalem is in a state of ruin. The walls have been torn down. His people are in misery and suffering. Yet, Nehemiah is a perfect example of what it means to prevail. Nearly four months passes while he prays and waits. There was no coming into the king’s presence uncalled. (Consider Esther 4:11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives.
But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”). Nehemiah is the “cupbearer” of the King. His duties and responsibilities include (1) putting his life on the line for the King by taste-testing his food & beverages for poison, (2) handles the finances for the King, and (3) is the confidant to the King. He weeps and prays but does not show his despair outwardly. When the right time comes Nehemiah makes his request known to the King.
1. Dangerous prayers take time to answer. Asking God for a change rarely comes quickly. The consistency of praying the prayer is the process that gives God time to (a) work within us (b) work within others, and (c) render the answer when the time is right.
2. Dangerous prayers can lead you to a life able to sustain. Nehemiah wept, wailed, and prayed for 4 months, yet the King doesn’t know something is wrong until this opportune moment in time.
3. Dangerous prayers develop Discernment to know how to deal with your answered prayer. This is where shallow discipleship meets #growngrown discipleship.
4. Dangerous prayers + Discernment = Wisdom. Nehemiah prays for 4 months and discerns how to appear before the King (when permission is granted), and what to say (and not say) to ask for a difficult request. “What is worked out in prayer is the language needed in the earth!”
5. Dangerous prayers teaches us the Wisdom to answer the question “What do you want?” Can we handle a “blank check” from God?
Questions and Discussion:
- Can you name folks around you (ie: work, family, friends) that have been examples of perseverance in prayer? What did it look like? What were the outcomes that you are aware of?
- What does wise transparency mean to you? Have there been times when God has led you to keep silent instead of sharing?
- Are you inspired to become an example of discerned wisdom like Nehemiah?
- How will you begin to practice praying dangerously because of this teaching/sermon?
- How would you share this sermon with someone who does not know Jesus as Lord and Savior?