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Nehemiah 1 (NIV)
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees, and laws you gave your servant Moses. 8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ 10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.
Identify God’s pleasure in those who serve God and trust Him in prayer. How did God answer? (In the text or in what follows)
Holy God, Nehemiah’s situation was similar to what is happening today. The church in this country is in great trouble and disgrace. It seems to have been devastated and is regarded either as irrelevant or as an object of scorn. Help me follow Nehemiah’s example to respond with intense prayer. I know that You love Your faithful people who love You and keep Your commandments. Lord, forgive us for our selfishness, sinfulness, and unfaithfulness. We have acted very wickedly towards You. I pray that you revive integrity and courage for Your people to stand up for You and to serve You. Help Your people respond to evil with Your love and illuminate Your light in this dark world. Lead us to rebuild Your church. May the church in this country rise up again. Give us success. Amen