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I had never bought crickets before.

I decided to take a half day off last Thursday. Ory and I headed out to Ray and Linda’s to do some fishing. On our way to the lake, Ray called and asked me to pick up some crickets to use as bait.  

So, I pulled into the gas station.  We hopped out of the car and walked over to the cricket box. I opened the lid and asked myself, “Now what?” Literally hundreds upon hundreds of crickets were jumping everywhere. How was I going to gather enough crickets for a day’s worth of fishing? I ran inside of the gas station and found a huge styraphoam cup and a lid to fit it. I ran back outside and began to force as many of the crickets as possible into the corner hoping that some might willingly jump into the cup. I had crickets everywhere. On my face. On my arm. On Ory!

I finally managed to find enough willing volunteers to fill my cup. I put the lid on and went back inside of the gas station. The cashier asked me how things went. I said, “It went very smooth. “She asked, “How many tubes do have in the cup?” I asked, “Tubes?”  She said, “Yes, tubes! You are supposed to fill up the tube that is provided inside of the cricket box and then place the crickets from the tube into your cup.” I said, “Really!  It is supposed to be that easy.” She said, “Yes, it is supposed to be that easy.”

As Ory and I walked away, Ory said, “Dad, it is amazing how smooth things go once you have received the proper instruction.”

God has some instruction for us this morning in regards to success as God defines the word.

Nehemiah’s prayer was successful as God defines the word.

What does Nehemiah 1:8-10 say? “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.”

Nehemiah’s powerful prayer was based on his understanding of the covenant or the promise that God had made with and to His people generations earlier. Nehemiah prayed the words that God Himself had spoken years before in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Nehemiah was quoting God’s promises back to Him. I am convinced that God loves to hear us speak back to Him the words that He has spoken to us!

In Nehemiah’s prayer, Nehemiah was claiming the unfulfilled promise of a restored and healthy Jerusalem.

Church, prayer becomes all the more powerful when our prayers celebrate God’s promises!  

Why? Because God does not toss around His promises lightly. Our church has a hope and a future today because our God is a God who keeps His word.

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