Read Nehemiah 1
The Prayer of a Person of Faith
When Nehemiah learned the distress of his brethren in Jerusalem, he immediately turned to God. “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). It was his only recourse and the only appropriate response at that moment.
People of faith must take time to mourn for the state of the country. We must spend time fasting and praying for those in power, that the decisions they make will not hinder the spread of the gospel. Only in accepting the truth of God’s Word will immorality be stopped. Sin is a serious matter, and the people of God must take it seriously. There is a time for action, and there is a time for prayer.
In Nehemiah’s address to the Almighty, he recognized both the greatness and the faithfulness of God. He was persistent in his prayer, approaching God “day and night” (Nehemiah 1:6). Brother Frank L. Cox noted, “Persistence in prayer is necessary not because God is reluctant to hear, but because man is slow to value God’s gifts, to make room in his life for God’s blessings.”
In order to make room for those blessings, we must remove from our lives the sin that holds us back. We are hindered by the distractions of this world and the cares of this life, but if we will acknowledge our shortcomings, repent of our sins, and accept God’s Word, we will be blessed beyond measure. Don’t qualify your confession with the word “if.” Nehemiah plainly stated, “Both my father’s house and I have sinned” (Nehemiah 1:6). We are all guilty of sin. Recognize it and rectify it.
In his prayer, Nehemiah appeals to God’s own Word that He delivered to Moses and to God’s leadership. Not only that, Nehemiah appeals to past redemption as grounds for present expectation. This man knew that he was in a position to help; but first, he needed God’s help and he expected it because God has helped so many times before.
Are we as reverent, as persistent, and as confident as Nehemiah when we pray? We should be! “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).