The Patient Prayer
“O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.”
Nehemiah was not only a visionary and a great leader, but he was also a man of prayer. Every great spiritual leader and visionary will always be a person of prayer. You cannot separate the prayer of these individuals from their innovation and ability to lead.
One of the things that stands out about Nehemiah’s prayer life is that it was a patient prayer life. The answer to Nehemiah’s prayer in the verse above didn’t come for four months, but he never gave up on God or his prayer. If the believer is going to have a successful prayer life, they must have a patient prayer life. Four characteristics can be seen in the patient prayer of Nehemiah.
First, the patient prayer believes God hears. Nehemiah never doubted God heard his prayer even though he didn’t get an immediate answer. You must never equate God’s hearing of your prayer with an answer. You must understand that the timing for your prayer to be answered may not be right for God. God hears your prayer, but you must be patient for God to answer it in His timing. Many times in the Scriptures the prayers of the saints were not immediately answered, but God answered every prayer in His timing. Never doubt whether God hears your prayer. His answer will come when it is the right time.
Second, the patient prayer doesn’t quit praying. Just because your answer hasn’t come doesn’t mean that you should stop asking the LORD. There is a parable that Jesus taught about the woman who kept petitioning the judge for a need, and the judge answered because of his importunity. Never stop praying about your situation. My family prayed for decades for the salvation of my grandmother. It wasn’t until she was in the latter years of her life that she got saved. The patient prayer will continue praying in spite of God’s silence.
Third, the patient prayer is patient with God. Nehemiah didn’t run ahead of God, but he waited on Him to answer his prayer at the right time. In the four-month time period it took for Nehemiah’s prayer to be answered, he kept doing what he was supposed to do and never tried to take matters into his own hands. You are going to have to be patient with God when your prayer seems to be hitting a wall. Don’t be foolish and move ahead of God. Be patient and trust that God already has the answer, but He is waiting for His timing.
Moreover, don’t become impatient with God to the point that you become indignant with Him. Just because God hasn’t answered your prayer in your timing doesn’t give you a right to be disrespectful towards God. Always be respectful of God even though He is silent when it comes to your prayer.
Fourth, the patient prayer is always rewarded. God rewarded Nehemiah in a way that he probably didn’t imagine. God honored his patience by taking care of him throughout the whole process of building the wall. If you are patient with God, you will see Him reward you openly and in such a matter that only He can receive the glory. My friend, don’t give up on your prayers. God knows your need, and He will answer it if you will just be patient.