“O LORD, God of heaven…listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel” – Nehemiah 1:5-6
I read six verses into the book of Nehemiah the other day and couldn’t continue. What struck me were Nehemiah’s passion and purpose, and the fact that both produced in him a prayer that continued night and day.
I’m lucky to find something to pray about that will last me fifteen minutes, much less day and night.
For all my talk about my desire to teach Scripture and seeing people fulfill their God-given destiny, of equipping people for works of service, of hoping to have more of my writings published and to see my church home grow with new Christians, I still don’t have the passion to pray day and night. With all those things on my agenda, I would hope that I’d have a more dedicated prayer life.
I want to, but I don’t. The paradox, naturally, is that I am writing about prayer instead of actually praying. Perhaps my writing is something I need to pray about!
I did study further to see what it was that caused such a stir in Nehemiah’s spirit. A citizen from Judah visited Nehemiah in Babylon and reported that the walls of Jerusalem were still in disrepair since their destruction by Nebuchadnezzar 130 years before. Because the walls were down, Jerusalem was defenseless against her enemies. Spiritually this was a disgrace because it reflected upon the character of God. Jerusalem was the place God chose to place His name (Neh. 1:9; Deut. 12:5). To allow it to stay in such disrepair was to bring shame on the very Name of God.
Nehemiah was able to pray day and night because he understood the heart of God. This challenged me to consider what things I want and what things God wants. Continue Reading