What do you do when somebody sends you a text or calls with bad news? A few months ago I was sitting in a restaurant with my husband Willie when a text came from my sister: “I’ve got bad news. Call me when you get the chance.” Right away I got a sinking feeling in my stomach and my mind began to take different routes trying to figure out what the news might be. Had somebody been in an accident? Had somebody died? Was it a friend or relative? How was I going to handle it? Right away, I made a conscious decision to do something “highly spiritual.” I texted her back with this plan of action: “I’m at dinner. I’ll call you when I finish eating.”
Now I consider myself to be a woman of prayer, but my default mode was “have something to eat.” Last week we looked at a person named Nehemiah, a “cupbearer” for the king of Persia. His job was to taste everything to test for possible poisonous drinks or food. As you remember, he was a stranger in a foreign land. One day some friends came with bad news about his hometown: “The survivors who are left from the captivity…are in great distress, the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned.” How do you think Nehemiah felt about his kinsfolk and home? Right, devastated! He, no doubt, remembered the good times when all was well.
Chapter One, verses 4 – 11 sum up the steps Nehemiah took when he heard bad news:
1. He cried and mourned for many days, fasting and praying before God. His crying had purpose.
2. He reminded God that He was a Covenant Keeper.
3. He asked God to listen and keep His eyes open.
4. He confessed his own sins and the sins of his people.
5. He reminded God about the importance of repentance and God’s response.
6. He asked for success and mercy from his captor.
What about us? I believe God establishes patterns that can bring about powerful answers to prayer. As we follow Nehemiah’s journey, remember to use the GROW Method of study.
G- God-Ask Him to open your eyes.
R- Read the assigned passage.
O- Observe key words (Names, Places, Repeating Words)
W- Write 3- 5 sentences to sum up what you read, the principle or rule, and your application.
WEEK THREE ASSIGNMENT: Read Nehemiah 2: 1 – 10 and answer these three questions.
1. Explain how Nehemiah approached the king?
2. What specific things did Nehemiah request?
3. What do you learn about approaching God?
MEMORY VERSE: Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus .”(NKJV)
PRAYER: Father, thank you for your faithfulness in teaching me to seek you before I take action. Help me to release all my cares to you, knowing that you hold the world in your hands. I trust myself to your care. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Happy reading! As always,
P.S. A change: I’ll be posting on Mondays.