Are we a people of action or a group of complainers? Do we get up and do something about our problems or do we sit and worry? This story tells us that Nehemiah had received some tragic news about Jerusalem and how he did something about what he had heard.
A Nation of Prayer?
The nation of Israel was supposed to be God’s witness to an unholy idolatrous world. But unfortunately, time after time they excessively capitulated and became misguided idol worshipers. God allowed them to be taken into captivity into Babylon, the center of idolatry.
The Israelites returned disavowing idol worship, in any case, their rebuilding was deficient. They were not liberated from this time forward until the time span of the Roman Empire.
Three men had assumed a significant part in the remaking of Jerusalem. There was Zerubbabel, who was a prince, who addressed the political side. Then, there was Ezra, who was the priest, who addressed the spiritual side. And afterward, there was Nehemiah, who was a layman.
Nehemiah was not the first of the exiles to be able to get back to Jerusalem. Zerubbabel had driven the primary group back to Jerusalem in 537 BC (Ezra 1:2). Ezra followed with the second gathering in 458 BC (Ezra 7). Now, Nehemiah was currently driving the third group to Jerusalem (445 BC).
Following a three-month venture, he showed up to see a finished Temple and got familiar with other people who had come back to their country. In any case, Nehemiah found a disrupted people and an exposed city without any walls to secure it.
Prior to the exile, Jerusalem had its own language, military, king, and character. At present, it had none of those.
What the Jewish people lacked most of all and were in dire need of was someone to lead them, and there was nobody there to give them that leadership or to show them where to begin or what course to take. When Nehemiah showed up, he started a "simple" program.
He set up a reasonable arrangement of government to help with the people’s physical needs and began the revamping of the walls.
Likewise, he tended to their spiritual needs by revamping broken lives. Nehemiah is a model of submission, God respecting administration, and his book contains numerous examples that apply today.
Nehemiah was concerned because Jerusalem was the Jewish people's blessed and holy city. As Judah's capital, it spoke to their national character, and God favored the Temple with his presence.
The Jewish history focused on the city since Abraham offered blessings to Melchizedek, Salem’s king (Genesis 14:17-20), until the Temple had been built by Solomon (1 Kings 7:51), also since the commencement of the reign of the kings.
Nehemiah adored the city although he lived most of his life in bondage. He wanted to rejoin the Jewish people and to eliminate the disgrace of the deteriorated walls. Therefore, God would be celebrated, and His power and presence would be among His people.
Nehemiah was lamented and cried when he found out about the status of Jerusalem's walls. For what reason would he be and feel this way?
Praying for Others
Unlike in today’s society, walls were fundamental back then, they offered security and symbolized peace, harmony, and might. Furthermore, a past proclamation would not permit Jewish people to modify the walls (Ezra 4:6-23).
Nehemiah did not harp on the negative, he cried out to God in petition (1:5-11). He searched for approaches to improve the circumstance by observing his assets of organization, knowledge, and experience.
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes (Daniel 9:3).
Nehemiah had a burden for the people. He did not wallow in self-pity, but rather, he fasted and appealed to God for many days. He communicated his distress for Israel's transgressions and wanted Jerusalem to wake up with reverence for the one genuine God.
What is it to make a confession? To admit our transgressions is to concur with God, to recognize that he is the one that is correct to announce it as sin and that we are incorrect to want or to do it.
We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you (Daniel 9:8).
In Daniel 9:18, when Daniel prayed, asked for leniency, not really for help, but rather on the grounds that he realized that his people did not merit God's assistance. God sends his assistance, not on the grounds that we merit it, but since he wants to show extraordinary mercy when we want him.
Assuming God does not have to help us due to our wrongdoing, how is it that we grumble with his help? Be that as it may, when he sends kindness despite the fact that we have trespassed, why do we keep our praise from him?
Nehemiah exhibited the components of powerful supplication: he offered recognition to God, he offered thanksgiving to God, he had contrition for sins, he made a request, and he made a commitment.
Sincere petitions can help explain any difficulty that we might be confronting, God's capacity to support us, and the activity that we must do.
Before the finish of Nehemiah's supplication (Nehemiah 1:11), he recognized what move he had to make. When God's people ask in prayer, the right decisions fall into a legitimate viewpoint, and proper activities will follow.
What should we do when we witness something like this? We should pray to God earnestly, open our hearts and minds to God, and speak from the heart, and not in ritual prayer.
Nehemiah was in an interesting situation to address the ruler. He was a commended cupbearer who guaranteed the security and nature of the king’s drink and food.
Nehemiah was concerned, determined, and ready as he searched for the perfect time to inform the king regarding the people of God, the Jewish nation.
Why Does Prayer Matter?
Every one of us is exceptional and fit for serving regardless of what our position is within the church or in society. Similarly, as Nehemiah utilized his place as the king’s committed worker to mediate for his people, we can utilize our current situations to serve God.
In a simpler way of putting it, Nehemiah was praying to God, “Lord, I am making myself accessible, if you want to utilize me in some way to help these people.” Can we honestly say that we can pray or have prayed in a comparable manner?
As we read through the Book of Nehemiah, it was a layman who had remade the walls of Jerusalem and purified the Temple. Just like Amos, who was a sheepherder, God uses people from all levels of society to accomplish his tasks. And without a doubt, the completion of those tasks starts with one small first step, that of prayer.
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Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service.