Book of Nehemiah "Placing a Priority on Prayer." with Pastor Michael Petit. Calvary Chapel Devine Weekly Devotion.
“Remember me, O my God, for good.”
This past Wednesday we finished our first Book of the Bible the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a wonderful leader. He had vision, plan of action and motivation to build the wall in Jerusalem. The key to Nehemiah’s success was his relationship the Lord. We one of the main things I learned from Nehemiah, was he was a man of prayer.
Nehemiah had real concern for the temple, walls and Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 1:2) Hanani, explained to him the condition of the walls. Nehemiah knew as a cupbearer, no walls, you have no security . (Cupbearer is like a the Chief of staff for the Whitehouse)
The city was a ghost town and thieves were constantly harassing those in the area.
Nehemiah 1:3 ESV
And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”
Most people would come up with a quick strategy on how to fix the walls and get right to the work or just send money. Not Nehemiah he went to pray and fasting.
Nehemiah 1:4-7 ESV
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.  And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,  let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned.  We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.
The prayer is beautiful and throughout the book, Nehemiah constantly prays. We have fourteen prayers recorded in the Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah gives adoration to the Lord in his prayer, he says “Great and awesome God”, He even says “God who keeps covenant and steadfast love.” So many people pray today and just get at it straight to their needs. Where is the Adoration? Read Revelation 4:8-10 and take a moment, just ponder it.
Revelation 4:8-10 ESV
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,  the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Let us not just rush into prayer, there is worship going on right now in heaven. Picture this as you read this “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” That is happening day and night. Now do you understand your speaking to God, and guess what God wants to hear from you. The Creator of the Universe is wanting to hear from you. God is constantly surrounded by adoration, yet we can learn from Nehemiah because he always praised God and gave adoration.
Nehemiah Prayed and fasted for four months before getting an answer on going to Jerusalem. He was patient. Do you have a daily prayer time? Do you rush through prayer quickly? Do listen during your time of prayer? Do you practice the ACTS acronym for prayer?(Adoration-Confession-Thanksgiving and Supplication) Isn’t funny supplication being last. Will you become someone like Nehemiah that puts a priority on prayer. Would you pray for four months, until God opens the door?
“Real prayer keeps your heart and your head in balance, so your burden doesn’t make you impatient to run ahead of God and ruin everything. As we pray, God tells us what to do, when to do it, and how to do it—all are important in accomplishing God’s will.” Warren Wiersbe
I do believe there are times we need to pray quickly even Nehemiah shows us that in chapter two.
Nehemiah 2:4 ESV
Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.
He prayed before answering the king in just a moment. He was talking to a secular worldly king and yet he stops to pray to the one true King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We can learn a lot about prayer through the Book of Nehemiah. We also see that even when Nehemiah was under attack by the enemy, he prayed.
Nehemiah 4:14 ESV
“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
Nehemiah 6:9 ESV
For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.
The enemy will try to intimidate you, try to get you stop the work of Lord, but we do not quit. We go to the Lord in prayer. We pray for strength, guidance and we get back to doing the work of Lord. It is so easy to feel defeated when the enemy comes to cause problems and people just walk away, many do. We can find strength to push forward with prayer. Nehemiah prayed and went right back to the work.
Nehemiah was a man of prayer. He set out on the project; Nehemiah prayed. When he talked to the king, he prayed. When he was in trouble, he prayed. Hopefully as we closed this book out this week you will be a person of prayer as well. Place a priority on prayer and make time daily to spend with the Lord just in prayer. We need to hear from the Lord, and we need to speak to Lord daily. I hope you will commit to that this year.