Go to God with an Open Heart
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
─ Matthew 6:6 ESV
When you receive bad news, what’s the first thing you do? The most intentional thing a follower of Christ can do is pray. Intentional prayer is all about having the right approach when you communicate with God.
Nehemiah prayed one of the greatest prayers in Scripture as he prepared himself for his great adventure in trusting God (Nehemiah 1:4-11). As you read Nehemiah’s prayer, you can feel the tenderness of his heart, the brokenness he feels for his country and the fact that he’s preparing himself for action. Nehemiah’s first response is to take action by falling on his knees with his heart open to what God desires him to do.
Instead of looking at himself, Nehemiah’s focus was on his people. He looked to benefit others. Nehemiah took responsibility. He says, “We have sinned against you, God. It’s our fault we’re in the mess we’re in.” It’s a huge thing to be able to go to God in prayer and take responsibility for where you are today.
Your position in prayer is important. Jesus gave us instruction in Matthew 6:6. When we pray, we are to go to the Father in secret. We are to get alone with Him and share our hearts openly with Him.
Nehemiah positioned himself in prayer as he focused on a promise instead of the pain. He didn’t come to God telling him how bad it was—but instead he spoke of the promise God had given him and his people.
Nehemiah found his joy because his first response was to go to God. When he came up from his knees, he was joyful because he knew God was going to complete a work. God ordered his steps and took him through a process to allow Nehemiah to be a driving force to rebuild the walls of his city.
Today’s One Thing
Consider these things in your quiet time with God today:
- Take action in prayer with a heart open to God.
- Look to benefit others.
- Take responsibility.
- Focus on a promise.
- Respond with joy.