• Prayer reflection based on Nehemiah’s Prayer

    Prayer based on Nehemiah’s Prayer

    Despite the fact that the returned exiles had been in Jerusalem for many years, the walls of the city remained unrepaired, leaving its people defenceless and vulnerable. Upon hearing this news, Nehemiah seeks permission from the Persian king to go to Jerusalem. The book of Nehemiah gives us a great example of community with the leader in constant communication with God. 

    Nehemiah’s Prayer

    1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

    In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

    3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

    4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:

    “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

    8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 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.’

    10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 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.”

    I was cupbearer to the king.

    The help came for the returned exiles when Nehemiah asked of their well-being 

    1. 2  “I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.” Nehemiah cared enough to go and find out what was going on, how the people were doing and what was needed. 

    What he discovered grieved him

    1. 4  “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.” Nehemiah cared enough for Gods people to be grieved when he saw them in trouble. I would dare say there is plenty to grieve about today in the community of Gods people. In recent years we have seen distractions, deception and the downward pull of societal norms all chip away at our commitment to Christ. 

    Nehemiah took his grief directly to God 

    “For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. “

    Like Nehemiah we all need to take the time to have some honest and committed conversations with God with questions about our own failings and the problems within the church and society we live in. 

    And then he prayed 

    Nehemiah’s prayer v 5-11 demonstrated 

    1. Praise
    2. Thanksgiving 
    3. Repentance 
    4. Specific Request 
    5. Commitment

    If we read through chapter 2 we see as Nehemiah approaches the King with his request he prays quickly before he speaks v 4 

    He knew that God is always in charge, is always present, hears and answers every prayer. Because Nehemiah had established a strong relationship with God during committed prayer he was confident that he could quickly ask God’s help in the middle of the situation. 

    Nehemiah gave up a comfortable and wealthy position in Persia to lead the troubled and disgraced people both practically and spiritually and we can follow his progress from his initial concern in ch 1v2 when he inquired about their well-being. He begins this leadership and continues to succeed against all the discouragement and opposition by calling on the power of God through prayer. The whole book is a great example to us as we strive to  influence for good our community, family or church we always need to  bring our concerns before God. 

    It is well worth spending time looking at Nehemiah’s prayer in chapter one ….. but don’t stop there!

    Shared with us by Maeve.

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