Nehemiah: Faithfulness to God
Nehemiah models sainthood. Sensitive and yielded he serves God. Faithful and transparent he shows godliness. His characteristics read like the want ads for biblical ministry in the 90's - "Powerful Team Builder", "Fervent Man of Prayer", "Humble Servant", "Godly Politician" and so on. What can we learn from him? More than could be shared in one study. We can survey his life and the book that bears his name and glean three practical insights, treasures from his legacy. Nehemiah models: Godly Character, Godly Prayers and Godly Leadership.
The subject of prayer is such a vast and important subject, we can only hope to learn a facet of it in this study. But if that small aspect of prayer that touches your heart results in even greater devotion to and worship for our God, then we have invested well our time together. First of all, let's touch on some basics with regard to the Old Testament's recorded prayers. Nehemiah has the 8th most prayers recorded in the Bible. The total number of prayers, short and long, are no less than 139. There are ten different words used to describe praying as we shall see later.
Nehemiah: GODLY CHARACTER
As we begin to look closely at the individual prayers of some men and one woman, let's start with Nehemiah. The key to learning from him is to see how prayer flows from his life. Nehemiah's prayers are just a reflection of his continual devotion to God. In fact, the book of Nehemiah is more like a diary detailing his life and thoughts, and it is the largest work of its kind in the Bible.
So, what characterized the life that produced such a magnificent prayer as that recorded in Nehemiah 1:4-11? The following are just a few of the many distinguishing characteristics that marked God's servant, Nehemiah:
1. He was grieved when God's name was not honored Nehemiah 2:2 "So the king asked me, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart." I was very much afraid." (NIV)
2. He continually demonstrated complete dependence upon God Nehemiah 2:4 "The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven." (NIV)
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