Nehemiah 1:8-11 (NIV)
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 O 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.
There is more to learn from Nehemiah about prayer and fasting in this one chapter than most people realize. In this chapter from Nehemiah, we have learned how a man of God responds to the news that God’s people and land are in ruins.
News of God’s people under oppression by the enemy should cause those who know God to be deeply moved to intercede for their brothers in sisters in other lands.
Such news can be quite overwhelming if we only look at the circumstances with our eyes. Nehemiah helps us see behind the scenes and see the spiritual realities. The realities that many miss because they close their eyes to such things.
Nehemiah has his eyes wide open to reality as he looks upward to God. He sets his affections on things above; he sees things as they really are. This vision leads him to praise God. We saw the power of praise at the beginning of his prayer in this chapter.
Praising God certainly helps regain the proper perspective. If we see God for who He is then, we will have no excuse to be overwhelmed by whatever circumstances. Nehemiah’s vision of God does more than help him see the real reality; he sees the eternal promises that God has made to his people.
Seeing God for who He is and seeing his promises he has made to his people brings great strength to Nehemiah. HE is no longer one under the circumstances, but one who now sees things from God’s perspective.
If he only saw his circumstances from an earthly perspective, he would never have even uttered this prayer. See what happens when Nehemiah sees things from God’s perspective. He is strengthened to believe that God would turn his people back to himself and that he really could be used by God to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and encourage God’s people to trust n God again.
Take careful note of verses 8-11. He claims the promises of God that if his people would return to God then God would bring them home, even though they were in far off lands. The Jews had been in captivity for over 140 years now. Some returned to Jerusalem seventy years ago, but the city was still in ruins.
The people of God were in bondage over 70 years longer than they needed to be. Why? Could it be that no one saw the promise of God like Nehemiah?
God opened Nehemiah’s eyes to see the promises, and he gave him faith to believe the promise, and then he merely asked God to do what God had promised. The rest is history.
Today as you fast and pray, pay careful attention to God’s promises and listen to the voice of the Spirit of God to see if any of the promises you are reading are for the church or your culture today? If they are, pray them as one going to the bank of heaven and ask that the promise be fulfilled as you pray.
Dear Saint, God loves to have his children take his promises and ask Him to fulfill them. What would happen if the people of God all claimed the same promise at the same time in asking God to deliver a nation or people? I don’t know the answer to this question, but I do know the answer to the question of what would happen if just one person claimed the promises of God?
Nehemiah was that one person, and when he claimed the promise, he was able to lead a multitude back home to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem so the people of God could worship Yahweh once more.
Time to find and claim the promises of God bringing revival to our land.
Let’s get to praying the promises of God.