No matter how many times I have read the book of Nehemiah, God brings new truths and old reminders to apply to my life.
Only a few short verses into the book, we discover that Nehemiah was a man of faith and prayer. In fact, throughout the book, we find there are nine prayers recorded. Nehemiah knew God’s Word and lived in the assurance of God’s character. He knew God.
He also knew God’s people. He recognized that the people had disobeyed and were undeserving of God’s favor but placed his confidence in the promises of God to His people.
Upon receiving word that things were not going well for some of God’s people who had returned to Jerusalem, he had one response:
“When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4, NLT)
He knew he needed to do something and was deeply concerned. Nehemiah prayed for days before taking action and going to the king. He prayed, he fasted, and he mourned.
Then came the decisive moment to go.
The importance and power of prayer in our lives became highlighted as I read, bringing two questions:
- Do I throw up a quick prayer and then move quickly? or
- Do I pray for days, fasting and waiting upon God?
Nehemiah had no reason to expect favor from the king. The king had not predisposed to the people before. The only reason Nehemiah could go, with expectancy, was because he had first gone before God.
Our God is great in power and mercy,
hears the prayers of His people,
sees our needs,
and acts in wisdom out of the storehouse of His unfailing love for us.