Nehemiah 1:4-11, And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:6 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. 7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.
Over the past three posts we have seen, among other things, that the Book of Nehemiah is a GREAT BOOK because it revolves around a GREAT MAN who served a GREAT GOD and saw a GREAT NEED, which led him to surrender to do a GREAT WORK!
As we said in our last post, “NEHEMIAH WAS A VISIONARY!
With eyes of faith – his spiritual eyes –Nehemiah SAW what others did not see. In fact, Nehemiah SAW what others were not LOOKING for, and weren’t interested in SEEING. After SEEING WHAT HE SAW, Nehemiah was also willing to go where others were not willing to go. And he was willing to do what others weren’t interested in doing.”
O Lord, give us some more Nehemiah’s!!!
Once Nehemiah heard about the GREAT NEED he almost immediately went to his GREAT GOD in prayer. And if we are going to ever get a GREAT WORK accomplished, we too, are going to have to become men and women of prayer!
PRAYING GREAT PRAYERS TO A GREAT GOD IS ONE OF THE PRE-REQUISTIES TO DOING A GREAT WORK!
I like what one author had to say about the power of prevailing prayer:
I often wonder what would transpire if every Christ-follower got serious about installing solid prayer practices into their lives. What kind of kingdom gains do you suppose would be made if each of us made pressing into God through prayer a nonnegotiable part of our everyday experience? I believe hearts would soften. Habits would shift. Faith would expand. Love for the poor would increase. Positive, purposeful legacies would be built. And a ravenous hunger would rumble through us all to get usable and to get used in significant ways by the one true God.
NOTHING CONNECTS US TO THE PRESENCE AND PURPOSE OF GOD FOR OUR LIVES LIKE PRAYING. THEREFORE, IT IS VITAL THAT WE BECOME A PRAYING PEOPLE!
Like so many of the prayers found in the Bible, Nehemiah’s prayer has so much depth to it:
- His prayer included adoration (1:5)
- His prayer included confession (1:6-7)
- His prayer included the promises of God (1:8-9)
- His prayer included a request for God’s favor and the favor of the King (1:10-11)
In the book called Praying Hyde, we find these words:
God wants those who are willing to bear the burden of the souls of these millions without God, to go with Jesus into Gethsemane. He wants us to do this. It is a blessed experience to feel that in some measure we can enter into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. It brings us into a precious nearness to the Son of God. And not only this, but it is God’s appointed way of bringing the lost sheep back to the fold. He is saying, ‘Who will go for us, and whom shall I send?’ Are you who read these words willing to be intercessors? If we are willing to put ourselves into God’s hands, then God is willing to use us.
Nehemiah certainly accomplished a GREAT WORK for God. There’s no doubt about it. And we thank God that he did. But before doing so, Nehemiah prayed a GREAT PRAYER to his GREAT GOD!
God has a GREAT WORK for all of us to do this side of eternity. Once we become familiar with what it might be, once God begins to stir our hearts, IT’S TIME TO PRAY!