dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

Notes from Nehemiah (Chapter 1)

on November 24, 2014

Have you ever had a broken heart–a weeping, mourning, can’t eat, can’t sleep broken heart?   What was it over?  A damaged relationship, unfortunate circumstances, a tragic loss, a personal grievance…

Nehemiah had a broken heart when he heard that the walls of God’s city were broken down and the gates destroyed by fire, and that God’s people were living under great trouble and shame.  Because of Nehemiah’s love for God and His people their condition devastated him personally.  In verse 4 it says, “As soon as I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God heaven.”  Nehemiah took his broken heart to the only One who had the power to help!

Nehemiah’s prayer started with praise, led to confession–personal and corporate, and finished with requests.

  • PRAISE:  O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants. (vs. 5-6a)
  • CONFESSION:  Confessing the sins of the people if Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.  We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. (vs. 6b-7)
  • REQUESTS:  1: Lord remember your promises to gather your people to their land and dwell among them if they return to You after disobedience and discipline (vs. 8-10).  2:  Be attentive to our prayers (vs. 11). 3:  Give success to your servants (vs. 11). 4: Give mercy and favor in the sight of men (vs. 11).

Nehemiah finishes his prayer and then writes, “Now I was cupbearer to the king.”  He could have described himself as a servant of King Artexerxes, but he described himself as a servant of God and cupbearer to the king.  Nehemiah only had one King and Master to serve, and he was willing to do anything to serve Him and His people.  Nehemiah knew that his King’s heart broke over the condition of His city and His people’s hearts, therefore Nehemiah’s heart broke too.

Lord of heaven, You are great and awesome.  You keep your promises.  You hear us and see us.  You dwell with Your people.  How amazing to serve a Living God!  Lord increase my brokenness over my sin, over the condition of your people and your church, over the smears on your great name, over wanting our kingdoms instead of Your kingdom to come, over wanting our will instead of Yours.  Break down the walls of pride built among Your people and supernaturally rebuild a wall that is laid solely on the foundation of Your Son-Jesus.  Do whatever You need to do in order that Your people’s hearts would return to You, so that the people redeemed by Your great power and strong hand will be drawn together and Your name alone will dwell with us!  Please listen to my prayer, and the prayers of all who delight to fear your name.  Give success and grant mercy.  I am Your servant.  You are my King!  In Jesus’ name I ask all these things. Amen.

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