Nehemiah's Knees

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"O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel." - Nehemiah 1:5-6a

Vagueness in prayer happens when we fail to put real effort and thought into our prayers. Here's an interesting way to find out if your prayers are too vague. Jot down three or four people or situations you're praying for, then describe exactly what you want God to do in each case. See if you can do it without using the word bless at all!

Nehemiah's prayer for his homeland is a model any godly person in any generation can imitate. It meets all the criteria Murray named. There is nothing vague or pointless about it. Nehemiah named the sin Israel was guilty of: acting wickedly and failing to obey the Law God gave through Moses.

Nehemiah wasn't clueless as to why he wanted God's mercy. The city of Jerusalem was in ruins, and Nehemiah knew that the rubble gave God's enemies a chance to defame His name and character. Finally, Nehemiah didn't stammer around when it came to the specifics of what he wanted God to do (Neh 1:11).

Like Moses, Nehemiah was a great intercessor. Nehemiah put himself squarely in the middle of his sinful people and identified with them completely in their deep spiritual need.

This prayer draws us away from the tendency to take an "us and them" mentality as we pray for national restoration. There are many evil people doing many evil things in our country, but we all stand before God in need of forgiveness.

Nehemiah was arguably the most righteous Israelite of his generation. But he didn't point the finger at others. He went before God on behalf of his own needs as well as on behalf of the nation of Israel. Nehemiah's humility and repentant heart gave his prayer a unique power. We need to study this prayer and make it our own.

Prayer: 
NEHEMIAH'S PRAYER: "O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses. Please remember what you told your servant Moses: “If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.” The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me." - Nehemiah 1:5-11
Date: 
Sep 24 2017