There is a lot written and taught these days about how we can get “what we want” from God — but that is not the focus of many of the best prayers we find in the Bible. Nehemiah’s intercessory prayer for Israel in Nehemiah 1:5-11 is an example of that.
Nehemiah’s appeal to God was for His cause and His glory. Notice, for example, in verse 10, the multiple uses of the words “You” and “Your”:
— “They are YOUR servants”
— “and YOUR people”
— “whom YOU redeemed”
— “by YOUR great power”
— “and YOUR strong hand.”
(this pattern actually continues in :11 too, with 5 more “Your’s”!)
This is reminiscent of the first half of the Model Prayer Jesus gave us, where the He gives us the pattern: “Hallowed be YOUR name; YOUR kingdom; YOUR will …”. Our Lord teaches us there that effective prayers are for GOD’S Kingdom & will, not ours.
This is just where many of the “prosperity preachers” and “word faith” teachers miss the mark. Our prayers are not vehicles for God to grant our will and desires, but for us to pray for HIS! Too many of our prayers are marked by “my … my … my …” when they should really punctuated by “Thy …Thy … Thy …”!