Nehemiah is 800 miles from the situation that filled his heart and was on his heart. He answered to an unbeliever whose name was King Artaxerxes and ends up going to God and He takes the problem from there. Prayer should be the first response not the last resort. Keep your eyes off of the problem and keep them focused on God. Nehemiah didn’t follow his feelings but instead he kept looking towards God’s power and promises. Faith is my response to God who’s able and willing to act. Nehemiah fixed his attention on God and God lead him from there. We too should fix our eyes on God when we’re faced with our ruin, failures and problems.
Nehemiah first believed in God’s power. Verse 5, “O Lord God of Heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands.” “The great and awesome God.” This is the God who’s able to do ANYTHING! Jeremiah said “Ah Lord God who made the heavens nothing is too difficult for Thee!” “Who keeps His covenant of love.” When you’re faithful, God keeps His promises. You may not doubt God’s power but have a problem with God’s willingness but Nehemiah knows God both CAN and WILL act.
Verse 8-9 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses. If they return to me and obey me I will gather them…” Nehemiah knew how to use the key of God’s Promises! He knew scripture. He draws from Duet. 28:64 and 30:1-4. God’s Promises is His hand extended to us. When we pray we grasp hold of that mountain, moving hand. Yes, it’s tempting to give in to despair, say “I’m powerless, the enemy’s too strong and the problems are too great” but here’s something to remember God’s promise: Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength and God will renew your strength as you trust his promises. Nehemiah fed on God’s word and His prayer is full of the Word. See how in Verse 10 he compares God on one side and the king as merely “this man” on the other. He cut down the most powerful man in the empire to proper size. He fixes on God not the problems.
Praying like that puts your problems into perspective.
That’s why worship is important because it gets our focus back on God and away from us. Remember Gods Promises. That equals Give me your burden and I’ll bear it. God’s promises seek me first and all these will be added. So, take hold of God’s Word and believe His promises in prayer.
A Man with a Cleansed Heart.
Nehemiah remembered the broken walls and his nation’s sin reason for it all. He remembered God’s covenant love and how they had broken covenant. Now with his eyes on this awesome God and He senses his unworthiness. He pours out heart in confession. “I confess the sins we Israelites including myself and my family have committed against you.” It wasn’t just their sin but his sin too, it can be national but it’s also personal.
The Holy Spirit often does this. It uncovers reality and reveals ruined defenses. He shows us the enemy’s damage and it causes us to weep but we must move on with those tears and we have to confess it to God. He reminds God of his past mighty acts of redemption. Verse 10 “They’re your servants and your people whom you redeemed.” When you remember the ruins you remember your redeemer. Ground your prayer in His saving act on the cross and his shed blood. He didn’t go to the cross to leave our lives in ruins! He now calls us to co-operate with Him in rebuilding the ruined walls.
A Man with an Obedient Heart.
It’s said prayer changes things but here its prayer changing people! When Nehemiah hears news, he starts weeping fasting and praying. Verse 4, “For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed.” Then he prays “day and night.” Verse 6. Then Verse 11 he prays, “Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man – the King.”
Take your everyday life and place it before God as an offering. By embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it.