Nehemiah: Prayer and God’s Sovereignty

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Nehemiah just found out that an army had formed and was on its way to kill anyone working towards the goal (get the wall built) and we read this:

4:9 – But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.

Earlier in the book though Nehemiah says:

2:20 – The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build

I find it so interesting that even though Nehemiah is absolutely convinced that the wall will be rebuilt, he still prays. Certainly if all of the labor is wiped out by this army the wall would not be rebuilt, so Nehemiah could safely assume that he is not in danger here. Why pray then? Some would say that this is a waste of time, if God has already planned out your success then keep moving ahead. No time to waste. All throughout Scripture though we see people praying for God to do what he has promised and it crescendos at the cross where we find Jesus praying for God’s will to be done.

God loves it when we pray back to him his own promises. It is found in the majority of prayers mentioned in the Bible. If you struggle with maintaining a consistent prayer life, give this a try: simply pray back to God his promises and recount the wonderful things he has done. It express our dependence on God which is ultimately what prayer really is.

Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

And that’s a promise.

  1. Absolutely agree that we should be praying back the promises God has for us. We need to constantly be reminding ourselves of the truth (what God says and said).

    Like you said about caring for people before the project. I believe that God cared more for Nehemiah and Nehemiah’s relationship with God than building the wall. Anything that could have put Nehemiah’s emotions or concnerns on edge should have been brought to God for strenghtening and remembering.

    Once again great insight into what Nehemiah did.

    • Ari, thanks for bringing up the topic of God’s goal for Nehemiah (growing his relationship with God). I hadn’t thought about this. Probably worthy of a post if you don’t mind me stealing the idea!

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