Summary: An example of a prayer
The Book of Nehemiah, gives us the rebuilding of the wall. This was a great undertaking, during a time of much opposition. So much in fact, the workers kept a weapon in hand while working. However, that's the rest of the story. And we know it was successful. It wasn't successful, due to mans effort, but rather mans obedience, and finding the will of God. I want to get into the prayer of Nehemiah. The book quickly gives us a glimpse of a man, that was broken. When asked, he was given the news that the Jews were in affliction (Nehemiah 1:3). We see the reaction of Nehemiah. He was broken by sorrow and wept. Lets just make a statement here. There are broken, hurting, and weeping people, that are Gods people. Our relationship and surrender to God does not exempt us from the tragedies, injuries, and hurts of life. But praise God, we have someone to turn to. Not just someone, but God himself. And we are not just subject to the way the wind blows. God can provide the plan, redemption, and success that we need.
Humility, - First, in prayer, let us find ourselves to be humble. Being humble can be quite difficult to capture. Just when we think we are humble, probably means that we are not. Humility will come, when we get a right perspective of God. He is everything, we are nothing. That's where humility starts. Get low before God, and approach Him in humility. Nehemiah starts his prayer that way. (Nehemiah 1:5) The "terrible" part is not in a derogatory way, but rather in a sense of awe in the power that's held by God. Nehemiah knew the power of God. He was recognizing, that apart from God, he was powerless. And notice, how mercy sneaks in there. If anyone knows God for any length of time, i believe the word mercy will flow freely from our lips, as we describe the attributes of God. I thank God for mercy.
Consistency - second, notice how Nehemiah was consistent. Nehemiah 1:6 " I pray before thee now, day and night..." This is not describing a single day, of one day and one night. But rather days and nights, in continual prayer, and pleading before Gods throne. I cant explain to you, the mystery of prayer. I know God knows our need before we ask (Matthew 6:8) But there are times, when God calls us to labor in prayer. To plead our case before Him. And as long as I have been given a burden, until God tells me yes, or no, I will continue to bring it before Him. I want to be consistent in my prayer life.
Honesty - Nehemiah was honest before God. He didn't try to make himself of any great standing. Placed no blame. But rather, opened his heart and exposed his weakness, his failures, and sins. Listen, I am not sure why people will not come clean, and be honest before God. God know everything. He knows our motives, our intentions, our desires, our faults, our weakness. Why not just be honest. If there is sin in your life, and open rebellion, those are the things that we need to bring before God, until our sins are cleansed, and our heart is made clean. If that's not the case, the remaining prayer becomes irrelevant. God wants YOU first.
Just and Faithfulness -(Nehemiah 1:9) Nehemiah gives us insight that's worth shouting about !! Regardless, of our spiritual state, circumstance, position, God will gather us to Him IF- we turn from our ways. Yes, we can have power over sin. No, we don't need to fall. But if we find ourselves fallen to sin and/or temptation, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Gods first and foremost desire is that we sin not ! (1 John 2:1) and through Him, and Him only, we can live victorious. Nehemiah recognized the sin of Israel had brought this upon them. The Babylonian army had scattered the Jews. Yet, God was there if they would call on Him and turn from their wickedness in repentance.
This prayer, brought God smile upon Nehemiah and prospered him, and helped him accomplish the rebuilding of the wall. Is your wall broken down ? Can we not come before God ? Can God not help us to rebuild, what sin has torn down ? Or perhaps there are holes in the wall ? Is your humility lacking ? Lets find Gods mercy. May the Lord bless you
Pastor/minister/friend feel free to use this outline in whatever way you see fit. If you rate this sermon, please let me know why you gave it the rating you did, good or bad. May God bless your ministry !