The Prayer of Nehemiah
Some of the most remarkable passages in the Bible that have been recorded for us are prayers. In Nehemiah chapter 1 we find a prayer contained in verses 4-11 which would be answered some four months later. No doubt as we would study the book of Nehemiah this prayer was perhaps one of many that transpired in the months leading up to king Artaxerxes’ releasing Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem.
While so much could be dealt with looking at Nehemiah’s prayer in chapter 1, the last portion in verse 11 shows us something wonderful and encouraging concerning the faith that Nehemiah had.
Please make note of the following verse:
v11 “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.”
Nehemiah as he closes his prayer recognizes by faith something we should all keep in mind. His prayer as illustrious as it is, concludes with the truth that he is one of many. Nehemiah exhibited great faith that there were others praying even as he was doing at that very moment.
Too often we are tempted to think that we are all alone in the fight of faith. We become overwhelmed by the reports that we hear.
Nehemiah had received such a report from Hanani. When Nehemiah asked how things faired concerning Jerusalem, the news received was depressing to say the least.
v3 “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.”
The situation it seemed was hopeless. This of course spawned the contrition in his heart found in the following verse (v4), which led to fasting and prayer. Nehemiah knew the situation was bleak, but he also knew God was great and always has a remnant.
Spurgeon in his comments on this very phrase puts it this way, “There are other good people elsewhere in the world who are as earnest in prayer as we are. If we begin to suppose that we are the only ones left who hold sound doctrine, we will become bigots. And if we think we are the only praying persons on the earth, we will most likely prove to be self-righteous. If we fancy we are the only ones who have a deep spiritual experience, we will probably be doing a great wrong to the Lord’s other servants and speaking evil of those he has accepted. It is far better to believe with Nehemiah that our prayerful voice is not a solitary one and that there are many who, like ourselves, cry day and night to God.” – Charles Spurgeon
Remember the great strait that Elijah found himself in when he declared, “and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (I Kings 19:10b) And yet the LORD declared, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” (I Kings 19:18)
- Pastor James, Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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