Bible Studies for Life
July 22 2018
Most Christians understand that prayer is important. Yet in spite of this most of us fail to consistently pour our hearts out to God.
In Nehemiah 1 we read that while Nehemiah was in the city of Susa he heard word from his brother Hanani that the Jewish remnant who survived the exile were “in great trouble and disgrace” because Jerusalem’s wall had been broken down and its gates burned (Neh. 1:3).
After hearing the news Nehemiah “sat down and wept” and “mourned for a number of days fasting and praying before the God of the heavens” (Neh. 1:4).
In his prayer Nehemiah acknowledged God’s greatness and the fact that He keeps His covenants with “those who love him and keep his commands” (Neh. 1:5).
Nehemiah lifted up his fellow Israelites to God confessing his people’s sins “Both I and my father’s family have sinned. We have acted corruptly toward you and have not kept the commands statutes and ordinances you gave your servant Moses” (Neh. 1:6-7).
Nehemiah asked God to remember His promise that if Israel is “‘unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples. But if you return to me and carefully observe my commands even though your exiles were banished to the farthest horizon I will gather them from there and bring them to the place where I chose to have my name dwell’” (Neh. 1:8).
Nehemiah closed his prayer by affirming that Israel is God’s people asking God to be “attentive to the prayer of your servant and to that of your servants who delight to revere your name” (Neh. 1:11) and to grant him success and compassion.
Like Nehemiah in our prayers we should lift up the needs we recognize around us acknowledge God confess our sins and ask God for guidance.