jtrhart

Nehemiah: Prayer and Fasting

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2010 at 8:39 am

The book of Nehemiah begins with Nehemiah learning about the troubles facing the remnant of Jews living in Jerusalem. The wall surrounding the city has broken down, leaving its inhabitants defenseless.

Nehemiah is greatly troubled by the news and spends the next five months in prayer and fasting. This is how any great project must begin. Many stories in the Bible start with God drawing someone out and placing them in the wilderness where they pray and fast while they hear from God.

Listen to how Nehemiah prays:

  • Praising God for who he is (v.5) – God is great, awesome, a keeper of covenant, a steadfast lover of those who are his, a rewarder of those who keep his commands.
  • Pleading to be heard (v.6) – begs God to open his ear to his prayer.
  • Confessing sins (vv.6,7) – recognizes that he and his people have sinned before God alone.
  • Recounting God’s promises (vv.8-10) – recognizes his dependence on God’s provision and promises.
  • Requesting God’s help (v.11) – asks for favor as he undertakes his project.

It’s most interesting to note that the majority of Nehemiah’s prayer is spent on things other than his actual prayer request. This is how God wants us to pray. Spend time praising God for who he is and what he has done. Recount the evidences of God’s grace in your life. Pray back portions of Scripture to him. God knows your request before you do, don’t spend a lot of time on it.

Nehemiah didn’t start planning on rebuilding the wall first and then ask for God’s help with it. He prayed and fasted while he listened for God.

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  1. […] 9, 2010 The end of Nehemiah’s prayer indicates that he had gotten a task from God during his four months of prayer and fasting. Nehemiah […]

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