What were you praying about in December 2014? How about November? October? This was my reflection this morning. I was reading in Nehemiah chapter 2 and was mildly stunned. I realized that He had prayed for an opportunity to approach the King of Persia and ask for permission to go back to Jerusalem and begin a massive restoration project. That was in Chapter 1. That prayer took place in the Hebrew month of Chislev (November/ December). Then on reading Chapter 2, I see that the conversation he had prayed about having with the king din’t even occur until about four or five months later, in the month of Nisan (March/April).
So Nehemiah began praying for an open door to the king in about November, and although he was in the kings presence every day, the actual conversation never took place until about four months later. Even then, the conversation was initiated, not by Nehemiah, but by the King himself. I could spend a great deal of time writing about such things as providence, God’s timing, etc. but I’m thinking in a slightly different direction today.
As I reflected on the four month span between the two events I was prompted to look back into my poorly organized prayer journal to try to see what I was praying about four months ago and what’s going on right now. In some cases I was encouraged to see what God had done over the last quarter in my life, but I was also a bit embarrassed by the prayers I had prayed, ideas I had written down, and plans I had made, many of which I have forgotten about. So much was lost between Chislev and Nisan. Whew! I’ll take another slice of that humble pie, with a scoop of ice cream please. To keep this brief let me just throw out some conclusions.
1. Journaling is a great idea if for no other reason than it helps me remember things.
2. Nehemiah didn’t have a list of ideas. He had one burning desire. Hard to forget something that grips your heart. Pray, not for ideas, but for passions, burdens, deep desires.
3. I need to clean out the closet of my million ideas and see which ones are truly from God, and toss out the ones that aren’t.
4. Just because you forget, doesn’t mean God does. Some of those forgotten prayers were answered anyway. Others are still before the throne. Keep praying.
So I’ve gone over the last few months and begun to ask the Lord to help me do some spring cleaning in my heart, mind and calendar. Time to seek the Lord for a fresh vision for these warmer days, and to dust off forgotten plans and just see what doors will open in Nisan.