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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Listen while you read: "At Even When The Sun Was Set" (Lyrics)