Saturday, November 13, 2010

Guest Post: prepare yourself in prayer


Over the next 10 days, you will be receiving the devotionals that the pastors of Brookwood Church have prepared for ServeFest 2010. ServeFest is a community outreach that will take place on Saturday, November 20, 2010 in Greenville County, South Carolina. If you would like to participate in ServeFest, register here:

The devotionals following the Beatitudes series will resume on November 24, 2010. 

by fenton moorhead • missions pastor

“’Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been burned.’ When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, ‘O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! … Please remember what you told your servant Moses: “If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands, even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.” We are your servants, the people you rescued by your great power and might. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success….’” Nehemiah 1:3-11 (NLT)

Nehemiah was a man of action. When he saw a need, he would not sit back and let someone else take the initiative. He would take the risk to act and make a difference. He heard the news that the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem were in trouble and that the wall of the city and the gates were destroyed. To go and do something would be costly in time and effort, and the King of Persia he served might not be sympathetic. Before he did anything, he prepared himself in prayer and asked God’s blessing!

I frequently act before praying and then ask for help along the way. The example of Nehemiah is worth great consideration. He took the time to let God prepare him for what was ahead. He did not overestimate his ability to get things done. He knew he would be dependent on God for success each step of the way.
As you read this story, notice the heart of Nehemiah and his passion for God and his deep desire to help the people. He was not afraid to show his emotions.

1. Examine yourself and confess the apathy we all are so capable of falling into.
2. Ask God to give you a tender heart and make you more aware of the needs of others.
3. Thank God that He has promised to bless us and give us success as we step out in faith to serve others.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You take great pleasure when Your followers serve others unselfishly and do not look for glory or credit. I want to give You pleasure as I step out in faith to work in ServeFest. Please give me success. In Your name, Amen.

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