Nehemiah 1: 5-7
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, 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. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Nehemiah 1: 10-11
They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 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.
Have you ever not known how to pray about a situation or for a situation? In these scriptures we see Nehemiah speaking to the Lord on behalf of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was from Jerusalem but was living in a different city being the cupbearer to the King there. His brother had come to visit and he had asked him about Jerusalem. His brother gave him the horrible news that it was broken down and it's gates had been burned with fire. What horrible news. How could he help that situation when he was so far away, and in such a better safe place? I wrote my previous devotion on what Nehemiah did after he heard the horrible news. He sat down. He wept. He mourned, fasted, and prayed. Then he spoke to the Lord. We see in the scripture above what he said.
I think we can apply this to our everyday lives so easily. So many times we have moved on and are in a safe far away place and we might hear some horrible news about a family, church, business, or situation. It would be so easy to just be detached from the situation and just think, "that stinks for them," and go on about our own new lives. Nehemiah didn't do that. His heart broke for God's people. He went into to intercessory prayer for this situation that he was not in the midst of. When is the last time you interrupted your plans to go stand in the gap for someone?
This is how you intercede for someone. This is how you reach God for a situation that needs Him. This is how you pray for others.
Nehemiah starts off with praising God. The God of heaven. The great and awesome God. Then he tells Him why he is so great. You keep Your covenant of love with those who love You and keep Your commands. He reminds God of the promises he has made. (Do you know your promises?) Hear my prayer God I am Your servant. I confess the sins of Israel and myself we have committed against you. (Did you know you could do that? Confess the sins of someone or a country that isn't you? Nehemiah did. Do you love someone enough to go into battle for them and intercede for them and confess their sins?) Nehemiah then goes on to remind Him again, You have redeemed them by your mighty hand. Hear my prayer God, hear Israel's prayers. Give me favor God with this man. I was the cupbearer to the king.
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