Intimacy is the feeling that describes healthy prayer. All prayer should, in fact, be intimate in every aspect. Whether you are praising the Father, asking for guidance, confessing sin, giving thanks, or whatever else you are laying down before the Lord, the entire time should have intimacy. You are talking with the God of the universe, the One who saved your soul, in prayer! Prayer needs to be intimate, and in order for this to happen, there needs to be adoration of the glorious Creator.
Nehemiah 1 is a fantastic example of intimate prayer. He demonstrates adoration (v. 5) of the Father, confession of sin (vv. 6-7), thanksgiving (v. 11), and the supplication of others (vv. 6-7) all in a loving conversation with the Lord.
“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, ‘O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.’
Now I was cupbearer to the king.”Nehemiah 1:4-11 ESV
The beginning of Nehemiah’s prayer is dedicated to adoration of the Father. Previous to confessing sin, giving thanks, and supplicating for others, Nehemiah kneels before God in adoration. He gives glory to the “great and awesome God” (v. 5), the heavenly Creator, the King of kings.
God is exceedingly deserving of our praise and worship, and our adoration of Him is essential when it comes to prayer. When we pray, we need to be like Nehemiah: opening with adoration of God. His glory, His faithfulness, His holiness, His righteousness, His heavenly attributes, His sovereignty are all things we should direct our adoration to. Our God is an awesome God, and deserves our complete adoration!
Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm!
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted!Psalm 47 ESV
- How can you be like Nehemiah in your prayer life?
- In what ways can you adore the Father in prayer?
- Do you begin prayer with adoration? If not, start doing it!