Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man. -Nehemiah 1:11 (NIV)

I’ve had some colleagues ask for prayer to support them in a difficult conversation they needed to have with others, where they knew they would meet resistance or rejection, whether it was in business or personal matters. To unbelieving eyes, they were up against the impossible.

You know the feeling. One part of your heart wants to avoid a conflict or obligation or consequence. Another part knows you need to face it. The Holy Spirit will nudge your heart in the God-honoring direction…and that direction may not be comfortable for you.

As I learned with the collision of belief systems–and the resulting spiritual warfare–with my father’s Buddhist funeral, God urges our hearts to face matters and heat head on. He wants us to deal directly and dive right into the heart of an issue.

But we are called to serve, and when He calls on us, we have the privilege of being just the person(s) He needs on stage to advance His grand story. So, the next time He’s telling your heart you need to do that difficult or inconvenient thing you really don’t want to, trust that He has a larger story and outcome that will play out when you act in obedience. And, we are to pray always–and specifically–for His will to be done through His servants and to His glory. Prayer unlocks pathways inaccessible to the prayerless!

Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, and prayed specifically for God’s ear and action before he went to ask the king to let him leave his post as cupbearer and oversee the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall. And guess what? The king easily granted his request, and even wrote letters of safe passage and permits for enough timber to help with the construction!

As of this writing, I know of two colleagues who had logically inexplicable breakthroughs and softening of hearts as God made a way where there seemed to be no way. Be courageous, for the Lord is with you…you are not alone!