Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me… I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ Nehemiah 1:8-9
A good prayer is one that brings God into remembrance of promises He has made afore time, for He is bound to fulfill by His hands that which His mouth has uttered. Nehemiah did not riddle his prayers with a list of his merits or good deeds, but he looked to the nature of God as a covenant keeping God, who will honor the words that have proceeded from His mouth.
Also, Nehemiah specifically reminded God about His promise to bring His children back from captivity if they returned to Him in repentance of their sin. This he did by quoting from Deuteronomy 30:1-5. Prayer that is not specific and based on specific promises from God’s word, is like shooting without aim or ‘scattering seven stones’ at one bird at the same time; chances are, you will not hit the bird.
Noteworthy is the fact that in spite of the distressful news Nehemiah heard about the Jews, he did not just approach God all emotional and teary. He had to present a strong case for the Jews before God like a good lawyer would do; and this he did by presenting enough evidence in the ‘Law’ (Word of God) that dealt with their release from captivity. Isaiah 41:21 says, “Present your case,” says the Lord. “Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob.
Can you imagine how hollow, or at best, grandiloquent but impotent, Nehemiah’s prayers would have been if he did not know the Word of God or the promises of God concerning the subject of his prayers?
Likewise, no matter what is happening in your life, you can’t approach God in prayer just emotionally. You have to deliberately search for scriptures that address your specific situation and present them as evidence before God; He is a keeper of His words, and He will never allow His words fall to the ground even if heaven and earth passed away. Being unfamiliar with the scriptures will only equal powerlessness in prayer because, “The potency of your prayer is rooted in your literacy of scriptures.”
+ Thank God for His nature as a covenant keeping God, who will not alter His promises in your life.
+ Ask for a hunger to be an ardent student of the scriptures, wherein lies the potency of your prayers.