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One Thing You Should Never Do When You Pray

Edmund Gravely and his wife, Janice, were on their way to Statesboro, Georgia, from the Rocky Mount-Wilson airport in North Carolina. Ed was flying their small plane when he suddenly died at the controls. His wife, Janice, didn’t know how to fly the plane, but she kept it in the air for two hours until it ran out of fuel. During this time, she sang hymns and prayed for help.

As the plane crossed the South Carolina – North Carolina border, she radioed for help: “Help, help, won’t someone help me? My pilot is unconscious. Won’t somebody help me?”

Authorities, who picked up her distress signal, were not able to reach her by radio during the flight, because she kept changing channels. Mrs. Gravely finally made a rough landing and crawled 45 minutes to a farmhouse for help.

This story depicts so many of us and our prayer lives. We cry out to God for help but switch channels before we get a reply. We turn to every other source but God in an impatient search for answers. (1)

However, we learn through the life of Nehemiah what happens when we choose to stay on the same channel.

Nehemiah was careful not to change channels. He knew what God had called him to do, but the Bible tells us that Nehemiah prayed first. In fact, he prayed four months before he ever laid eyes on the place that God had called him to help rebuild. He didn’t run to other people when he didn’t hear God as quickly as he would have liked to. He waited patiently until he heard God speak. And that is why he was able to do, in 52 days, what some had tried to accomplish over the course of years.

Which can you relate to? Are you staying on the same channel, patiently waiting to hear God speak? Or are you like Janice on the plane, franticly changing channels?

Regardless of which one can identify with, be encouraged today. God is still speaking, so don’t stop praying! Stick to His “channel”, be patient, tone out the unnecessary noise, and listen.


Bible Illustrator #2820; 8/1987.10


I invite you to view Pastor Eric’s message, Chopsticks, from Week Two of The Book of Nehemiah series in its entirety HERE:

If you missed Week One's message, Poison Control, from The Book of Nehemiah series, you can check it out HERE.

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