The Value of Prayer
By Will Cunningham
In the book of Nehemiah, we learn that Nehemiah got word that his fellow people were left as refugees after the Babylonian captivity in their own land after they had gone through an empirical upheaval. The city of Jerusalem had been destroyed. The fortified walls had been broken down in rubble. The secure gates had been scorched and blacken by the fire they were caught up in.
When Nehemiah heard what was happening, his heart was broken for the people and he began to pray. As a matter of fact, 11 times it is recorded that Nehemiah was moved to pray for those in distress. As we see here in this initial report to him after he hears of their reproach:
“4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [for many] days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, [You] who keep [Your] covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, 6 “please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night,… (Neh. 1:4-6, NKJV)
What strikes me about this example of prayer is how Nehemiah personified the coming Christ. Jesus Himself wept over Jerusalem as we see in John 19:41 and then shortly after that drives the money exchangers in the temple and says, “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves….” His point is that Prayer must take priority over all else. Over ministry operations, over work, over family, over entertainment, over our personal devotions.
In Matthew 6:5, Jesus teaches the disciples and others to not pray like hypocrites who want to be seen by men. He then teaches them and us a model to prayer, …ie, come to God as a child would come to a Father, revere Him, for He is HOLY and ask His “…kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven…”. That is the Heart For Lebanon’s priority. His kingdom come, not ours. His will be done, not ours. His authority come, not ours. Our greatest desire is to see the very authorities of God be pulled from Heaven and being put into operation in our lives on this earth and in our organization and in the lives of the people and partners that support us.
It is a given that God knows all our concerns, after all, he is all knowing. He knows our thoughts and intents of the heart and to that means, is why He has given us an avenue of prayer; which is to come to Him and converse with Him with regard to the matters of our heart. Isaiah the prophet helps us understand this heart of God the Father. He records God’s word to his people:
“I, even I, am He who blots your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted.” (Isa. 43:25-26, NKJV)
The very creator of ALL, desires us to contend with Him. He requests our presence and wishes us to “state our case…”. Today, what do you need to contend with God our Father over? What case(s) do you need to state to the ALMIGHTY?
The Apostle Paul later theologizes the meaning of prayer for us in 2 Corinthians. In chapter 10:3-6 we read:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Cor. 10:3-6, NKJV)
This is such an important note to internalize in our beings and in our spiritual core, which is, “…we do not war according to the flesh…”. Our weapon to wage war in this life is not within our ability, but rather “mighty in God.” This does take faith. We also see in Ephesians that the greatest warrior’s resource is prayer. Ephesians 6:18 tells us that we need to be: “…praying always with all prayer and supplications in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplications for all the saints…”
To this end, Heart for Lebanon recognizes the importance of prayer. Not only for the 1,800 (10,800 individuals) refugee families we serve each month with Family Care. Whether it be specifically under our Children-at-Risk Initiative serving the 300 children in our H.O.P.E. education program, which many are orphans or fatherless. Or the 500+ refugee children we serve each month through Hope on Wheels ministry.
Furthermore, Heart for Lebanon not only recognizes the importance of prayer in our ministry operations in Lebanon, we also believe it must equally extend to our International Office and partners. We believe it so much that we have trained our staff to hold the mindset that our organization is “a house of prayer.” We make it a point to pray for every church and person our Father puts in our wake whether they are an investor with us or just someone wanting to know more about the ministry. It is our most important job in ministry. What prayer need do you have today? Heart for Lebanon is here to pray for it and you! Let us contend together before our Father in heaven and state our case to Him.
If you desire to know more of how to pray for Heart for Lebanon, please reach out and request to sign up for our Prayer Points emails at firstname.lastname@example.org . The Prayer Points are designed to assist you in your bible study groups, community or connect groups, house fellowships, and church prayer meetings.
If you are a pastor or mission’s director who would like prayer, please contact our Pastor in Residence, Will Cunningham at email@example.com. Finally, if you are in need of prayer personally, we would feel privileged to pray with you and for you. Contact us at 828.333.3282 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“May we learn to intercede so wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ will be completely and overwhelmingly satisfied with us as intercessors.
~ Oswald Chambers ~
Tony B. (name has been changed) is a HOPE student in is his first year in our H.O.P.E. Educational Program. Even with learning difficulties, he integrated very quickly, and accepted Jesus as his savior. Tony shares: “I learned to pray here, and I want to learn more about Jesus. My life changed when I came to this school, everything in this school makes me feel happy”. When asked about what he would pray for, he said: “I want to pray for each child in my Tent Settlement to know about Jesus”.