When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. ~ Nehemiah 1:4
Prayer is what happens when we talk with God. Often, we spend a good portion petitioning God with our requests. But when Nehemiah received unbearable news, he spent several days pouring out his heart to God before ever petitioning Him. The Hebrew word for “sat down” has the idea of dwelling or abiding. Nehemiah sat dwelling on the situation and the pain he felt.
I wonder if we rush past our feelings and straight into our petitions. I wonder if it might do us some good to take Nehemiah’s example and spend some time dwelling and meditating on how we truly feel about what is happening. When was the last time you poured out all of your pain, anguish, fear and other emotions to God? I mean you really articulated them to God?
Nehemiah “wept” before God. His weeping was loud and his words of lament were probably many. I imagine he even yelled at God during the course of his prayer. I am not sure our relationship with God can be whole and healthy until we come to the place where we deal with our emotions.
I also wonder if we open the door to temptation when we do not confess our feelings to God. What if our temptations could be lessened by simply telling God how we feel? It may diminish Satan’s ability to get us off course.
Today let’s take a page from Nehemiah’s book. Let’s get real with God before we give Him our to-do list. Let’s undermine Satan and glorify God.