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Granted Favour

November 16, 2013
by Alec Niemi   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

Nehemiah 1:11 – "Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favour in the presence of this man." I was cupbearer to the king. (NIV)

When the Jesus film is completed in a new language, a premiere showing is often done for the leaders of the area where the language is spoken.

The film was ready in the "Yucatec Maya" language, which is spoken by a third of the population of the Mexican state of Yucatan. The director for Campus Crusade for Latin America, the director for Mexico, and I went to Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan and the largest city of the Yucatan Peninsula, to meet with the mayor to get his permission and to use his influence to help with the showing.

Before leaving the hotel for the meeting, we made a list of seven items that we thought we would like from the mayor, and if we got four of the seven, we would go ahead with the event. We then committed it to the Lord and prayed that the meeting would be a success.

The mayor was so accommodating. "You can use my theatre; you'll need my dining room; you can use my name to invite other leaders; you will need my list of leaders; my secretary is available to help you …" until he had listed off all seven items on our list of things that we thought we would like. We didn't have to ask for one thing.

It was an answer to prayer. Just as Nehemiah had prayed for favour in front of the king, the Lord had granted us favour in front of the mayor.

"When all else fails, pray" is a very common response in many situations. Why not pray first, as last? "The prayer of a righteous person has great power" (James 5:16 ESV). A righteous person is one like Nehemiah who delights in revering God's name. As Christians, when we revere His name, our relationship with the Lord will be such as to have His ear, and we will also have the wisdom to ask first for His favour. When we are in that right relationship, our prayers will naturally become very powerful.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we delight in revering Your name. Give us success and grant us favour today as we go about Your business. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alec Niemi <aniemi@shaw.ca>
Harrison Mills, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Alec, a good word for today.

    Praise God for His faithfulness!

    You are so right about prayer, Alec. Hopefully the showing of the film was a success.

    Amen to all you have said. What a gift to be reminded to revere His name, and to seek His favour in prayer … not of supplication alone, but of reverence and love and dependence. Thank you for this. It really fits perfectly today with my own prayers and requests, and my relationship with my loving Lord. Blessings on you.

    Greetings from north central Texas,
    Enjoyed your devotional this morning.
    Indeed prayer before starting anything is wise. When I discovered this, my life improved. I also stop and thank FATHER when realize things are going right, my blessings are raining down. I shares this with my children and also share how things are going right.
    I share with them the source and that FATHER enjoys recognition.
    My pray for you is may you always enjoy health, happiness & prosperity all the days of your life until you receive the last one when FATHER takes you by the hand & lifts you home. AMEN & AMEN
    (Texas USA)

    Good morning Alec.
    A beautiful message assuring us God is there and available in the beginning of our planning as well as at the end of our plans, when everything seemed to fail and things just did not work out the way we had hoped.
    Now we pray.
    We are so willing to accept the fact that we can do it all by our selves and leave our Lord on the shelf until we are desperate coming to him humble and tormented, when all the time, your message reminded us, we had the glorious opportunity to approach His throne at the very onset of our plans.
    This was a great message and being involved in the Graham crusades many times, my husband and I realize how important prayers, years ahead of any event, seeking God’s guidance and direction are so very important.
    You were blessed in that the mayor was a Godly man, who was not ashamed of being involved in your plans. God took care of that situation for you long before your asking for his help. He knew before you were born, you would call upon him and seek his loving guidance.
    Thank you for a wonderful message assuring us, pray first and great things will happen sooner than later.

    Thank you Alec for this look into the outreach efforts of the film about Jesus.
    And, favour with our King, Jesus is such a comforting thought. Thanks for writing.
    God bless you,
    (California, USA)

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