Read Nehemiah 1 – 3
Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that Thou mayest hear the prayer of Thy servant, which I pray before Thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel Thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against Thee: both I and my father's house have sinned (Neh. 1:6).
Nehemiah had just heard that the people in Jerusalem were suffering great affliction and that the walls of the city of Jerusalem were broken down.
Nehemiah responded to this news by immediately turning to God. Like Nehemiah, our hearts should be concerned over the afflictions of others. Nehemiah didn't just get discouraged spiritually and become what we might call a "prophet of doom." He turned to the place that all answers are found. He turned to God. But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance (Acts 26:20).
Nehemiah's prayer could certainly provide us with a model to follow today. It is a sincere, heartfelt prayer that is repentant in nature. He confessed not only his own sins, but those of his family and nation as well. He also prayed the Word of God itself as it had been spoken to Moses. He spoke of the judgment God would have on His people for disobedience. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (Eph. 5:6). He also spoke about how God had said that if the people would turn back to Him that He would forgive them. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
There are many elements in this prayer of Nehemiah's that we could use in our daily prayers. There are many reading this today that probably feel we are in a similar situation as Nehemiah. More and more people seem to be less and less concerned about God and His Word. Even inside some churches today, there is often a "watering down" of the gospel. How can we respond?
Nehemiah prayed a prayer that said what God desired to hear. He truly repented. He was not just remorseful for his sins and the sins of others. He was prepared to go in a different direction and lead others into the obedience of following God as well. He applied God's Word to his prayer. This always helps in overcoming the enemy.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
Thought for Today:
God is always looking for those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him.
1:5 terrible, awesome, greatly to be feared; 2:2 countenance, face; 2:7 convey me over, allow me to pass; 2:20 no portion, no part or property; 3:19 turning, corner; 3:23 over against, in front of, opposite of; 3:25 lieth out, extends from.
Through Nehemiah's prayer for his people (Neh. 1:4-11). Christ also prayed for His own throughout the ages, which includes us today (John 17:20).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 1:1-2