“And now God, strengthen my hands.”
That is a simple prayer. Such a beautiful, simple prayer. As Nehemiah is doing monumental work, like he’s rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem, he’s leading out in this massive project, but what I love about Nehemiah 6:9 is he comes to this point where he just looks up to heaven and he’s like, “God, my hands hurt.”
This short prayer encourages us that God invites us to bring all our petitions to Him regardless of how big or small they may seem.
God is pleased with prayer like that. You just think about it. This is so breathtaking when you think about it. Like we can pray about huge things and about small things. Like we can pray when we are or someone around us is facing cancer. At the same time we can pray and should pray when we or someone around us has a cold. God is honored, not by the size of our prayers. It’s not like this is too small to bring before God. No. It’s not about the size of our prayers, it’s about the growth of our relationship with God, where we are constantly looking to him, in everything. In this way, it honors God in a sense more when we pray small prayers. Because yes, yes, in prayers for bigger things, like maybe there’s more faith needed because we can’t see a way through this or that but even in the small things, God is honored by us saying, “God I need you in everything. God I need you in everything. When my hands hurt, I look to you. When my head starts to ache, I look to you.” I don’t look to Tylenol or Advil first. Not that it’s bad to take medicine but that medicine comes from you. I look to you in everything. When I’m struggling, when I’m stressed in a little way, I look to you. When I’m stressed in big ways I look to you.
God, teach us to pray like this. All day today, Lord, help us to look to you. When we struggle with this or that. When we face a problem, like I think about students who might listen to this and they face a math problem, and they’re like, “Oh, how do I do this?” May they look to you. When somebody at work faces a challenge, they’re not sure what to do, may they look to you. You are the giver of all good things. You’re the source of all wisdom. You are the strengthen of our life. We don’t have breath apart from you, much less the ability to think about this or do that work. God, we need you in everything. Everything. So help us to look to you for everything, to live in just prayerful dependence on you in every single thing we do today.
God, teach us to pray continually, like you’ve taught us to pray without ceasing. Lord, strengthen our hands, our minds, our hearts in every way today for all that you call us to do. Help us to look to you continually for this. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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