Nehemiah 1:4-7 (NIV)
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: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,
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 house, 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.
Nehemiah had never been to Jerusalem; he had only learned about the City of God from his family. Then one day, one of his relatives came back from a trip to Jerusalem and told him about the conditions in Jerusalem. His report was devastating to Nehemiah. The city that was supposed to be an example of God’s beauty and glory was in ruins; its people were depressed and oppressed. The enemy of God was having a hay day in Judah and the city of Jerusalem. The temple was built, but hardly anyone could get close to it because of all the rubble and ruins they had to climb over.
God was not honored and his people were in bondage in more ways than just p[hysical.
Is not this the case in our day in our land. The worship of God has been polluted by prosperity gospel preachers and charlatans seeking to steal the resources and the joy of God’s people for their selfish gain.
How can we use this time of prayer and fasting to make a difference? Let us learn from Nehemiah’s example.
Note what Nehemiah does when he first learns of the situation of Jerusalem. He sat down and wept and mourned and fasted. When he at once learns the real state of the people of God and the city of God, everything changes. His countenance and his emotions are all centered on the real plight of God’s people and the city of God.
How does he set to his prayer when he learns of this situation? He, at once, acknowledges who God is in his first words. “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands.”
This is the God we address today. God keeps his promises. If we will only learn his promises and then use those as we commune with God, we will find great power and strength to pray.
In your time of prayer and fasting, take note of the verses you read that speak of God’s character and being. Write them in your journal and use them as you offer your praise to God in your time of prayer.
What happens when we praise God and use the high praises of Him who sits on his throne in heaven? Psalms 149:6-8 will tell you a marvelous story.
Psalm 149:6-8 (NIV)
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron,
Learn to praise God first and foremost.
Looking For God to Show up in our lives,