He was deep in prayer.
Tears of anguish ran down his face, down his beard.
The knot in his stomach was evidence of his lack of food.
Nehemiah 1:5-10 NKJV — And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’
Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.”
Nehemiah was a man of prayer.
When he heard of the great distress of the Jews, who had returned to Jerusalem, were under he was deeply troubled.
Nehemiah 1:4 NKJV — So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
When he was afraid he prayed. Nehemiah 2:1-4
When he was ridiculed and mocked, he prayed. Nehemiah 4:4-5
When he and all those who were working on the wall were threatened he prayed. Nehemiah 4:9
When the people came to Nehemiah because of the famine and he found that some were charging their brethren usury and the previous Governors had taxed the people, he lived according to God’s Word, made those who had taken advantage of their brothers restore what was taken, shared what he had and didn’t gain anything personally. Then he prayed. Nehemiah 5:19
When his enemies attacked his integrity he prayed. Nehemiah 6:9
When a snare was set for him, God gave him understanding and he wasn’t tricked. He prayed. Nehemiah. 6:14
Throughout the book of Nehemiah he is constantly going back to God in one way or another.
At times he wrote “Then my God put it into my heart…” Nehemiah 7:5a other times he states: “…they perceived that this work was done by our God.” Nehemiah 6:16b
This man’s devotion to God are evident in all he did.
His fabric of life was prayer.
And his response to God was obedience.
The anguish he felt when he first heard of the trouble of those living in Jerusalem was birthed into being used by God to restore not only the wall of Jerusalem, no small task, but also to restore order and devotion to God in the people living there.
His life is an incredible inspiration for those who are called by the name of the Son.
His passion, discernment, and faithfulness speak volumes about his character and his personal love of the God of heaven.
For such a small amount of information about this man, Nehemiah (it’s a short book, only 13 chapters all focusing on what took place before, during, and after the building of the wall) we can be given a large dose of encouragement.
Nehemiah was secure in his walk with God and no amount of threats, attack, difficulty, squabbling, or just plain hard work deterred him from following what God had put in his heart.
That is the result of a life completely surrendered to God.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for this book of the Bible and for the man who shows such an example of prayer and obedience to You. Lord, no matter our past, You can redeem us. Please help us to be individuals who are steeped in prayer. Lord, help us to respond to life through prayer and Your Word. Let the lives of Your servants be our example, that we might inspire others to follow You as well. Lord, start with me. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.