Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nehemiah: a heart that can break by Kelly Minter – Week One

I recently received this study and didn’t know much about it, so I did some research…and now I’m psyched!  This is more than just a study of the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.  This is more than a look at the cupbearer to the Persian king who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls.  This is a study that will change you and the way you pray and your being and doing.

Each video is preceded by a short introduction in the workbook.  The video segment isn’t that long – around 20 minutes – but Kelly Minter whets your appetite for what’s to come.  Her excitement is contagious.  Her story of how she came to study this book is touching.  Her friendship with Gloria, a Brazilian missionary in the Amazon, is reminiscent of what we all long for.  I am hopeful that, by the end of this seven-week journey my heart will be more like Jesus’ and that my life will reflect that heart change.  This is the end of “sit-on-your-tush-and-tell-yourself-that-you’re-okay-with-the-status-quo” Bible study!  Hallelujah!

This week’s teaching has led me to several revelations about myself, including the fact that I guard myself against becoming really involved with people.  Shallow relationships are more comfortable and leave me less vulnerable or disappointed.  But the big lesson I’m learning through the study this week is the importance of prayer.  I have struggled with this throughout my Christian life.  Why do I need to pray?  God already knows what’s in my heart and mind.  Is it His way of allowing me to participate in His plan?  He doesn’t require my prayer to act, right?  But I’ve learned this week that prayer is the work of the church!  It’s important, period!  And God wants me to do it.  What more reason than that do I need?

Now that a foundation has been laid with prayer, day three of study touches on one aspect of that activity:  confession.  I call this an aspect of prayer because I pray the ACTS prayer format:  Adoration – Confession – Thanksgiving – Supplication.  Confession and repentance is critical to our walk with God.  And I don’t spend near enough time in confession.  That is changing this week!

How about you?  How do you feel God wants to change up your prayer life?

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