Atypical Pleading

Cheri Strange

Day 15: Atypical Pleading

As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, Nehemiah 1:4-6

Atypical Pleading

The first time my twin boys from Ethiopia were introduced to s’mores they were attending a father-son camp with my husband, Chad. Apparently, around this amazing campfire, the brothers argued with my spouse, and insisted in broken English they did not like s’mores. They put up quite the resistance until Chad described the ingredients: chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers. “Oh! I like chocolate!” My boys knew little English at this point, but they were very familiar with the taste of chocolate.

Nehemiah had clearly tasted of the goodness of God. You can almost hear it in the language of the text. His approach to prayer is atypical. We don’t know how, when, or what provided the Hope, but Nehemiah knew enough to believe he could plead with God because He was able and trustworthy.

Consider your own situation

Think about what you might have set on the shelf, or pushed to the back of your mind as insanity or just too impossible for God to change. When was the last time you prayed in an atypical pleading like Nehemiah?

I sat down and wept and mourned and continued fasting and praying. Declaring God’s character — asking him to be attentive — “

Have you done that? Or have you just toyed with the possibilities and dismissed them as crazy. Maybe you have assumed that God is unable and unmoved. Or it’s possible you are secretly thinking He will not be faithful to you.

Maybe there is something to the heart and actions of Nehemiah. Are you THAT serious? Do you really want God to act?

Could it be some atypical pleading is in order?

We don’t have any biblical evidence that up to this point Nehemiah had seen God move in any real or miraculous instances. In so many ways, Nehemiah could be like you and me. Oh, he’s tasted. But I’m not sure he’s yet seen. Instead, he’s just praying like crazy and fasting.

The previous tasting of God’s character, considering what He had done in the past, and hoping toward what He promised in the future–impacted Nehemiah’s own satisfaction in God. This atypical pleading for what he could not yet see also shaped his expectations of how God might lead him to participate.

What About You?

Would you do the same today?

What if God’s character and His ways became as familiar and pleasurable as the taste of chocolate on our taste buds?

Suppose we allowed this delight to impact our participation in His plan?



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cheri strange speaker author she yearns

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