Welcome to our Tuesday devotions. Every Tuesday, we will offer a study in the book of Nehemiah. We hope you enjoy these devotions and will also follow us on social media at @thecovenc. We post encouraging Bible verses, upcoming events at The Cove, and much more.
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
“I said, ‘I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and loving-kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’ They are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man.’ Now I was the cup-bearer to the king” (Nehemiah 1:5-11, NASB).
After hearing of the terrible state of his homeland in verses 1-4, Nehemiah was heartbroken. He fasted and mourned for several days. Then he prayed.
I have been in many seasons of life where I had a good prayer life, and other seasons where I seemed to struggle in my relationship with God. I am sure I am not the only one who craves a better prayer life and to have more intimacy with God.
Let us take a look at Nehemiah’s prayer.
His prayer was bold, as well as specific. We will see in the chapters to come, that this prayer was also effective. There is one thing that I see in the prayer above all else, and that is Nehemiah did not begin with his needs or the needs of the nation. No, he began with a reverence and an acknowledgement of who God is.
- He is the God of Heaven. (v5)
- He is the God who preserves the covenant and loving-kindness for those who love Him and Keep His commandments. (v5)
Even though the needs of God’s people were many, Nehemiah’s next words were not a petition to the Lord for help in time of trouble. No, he confessed the sins of the nation, and reminded God of his promise to bring the scattered people home.
Finally, we see his specific request to God.
- “I beseech You . . . be attentive to the prayer of your servant . . . make your servant successful today and grant him compassion before the this man.” (v11) He was cup-bearer to the king.
What can we learn from Nehemiah?
- When he prayed, he declared God’s greatness. God is great no matter what our circumstance and deserves our praise and reverence.
- He reminded God of His loving kindness and of His promises.
- He confessed the sins of himself and he confessed the sins of his nation.
- He asked for a specific request, and that was to be successful when he asked for help from the king.
Nehemiah’s Prayer was simple, but not easy. What questions can we ask ourselves so that we can affect change?
- What does it look like to slow down and acknowledge God’s greatness first?
- What circumstance has overtaken our ability to see the greatness of God?
- What promises of God can remind Him?
- What scripture can I turn back into a prayer to God?
- What specifics and not general things do I need to ask God to grant?
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