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A Heart For Others

Finding My Place  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Learning of the broken community of Jerusalem, Nehemiah seeks the two key influences in his life (God & King Artexerxes) to ask for success and mercy.

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Introduction/Background

Commentary on the Old Testament Ch. 1.—Nehemiah’s Interest in and Prayer for Jerusalem

Nehemiah’s prayer, as given in these verses, comprises the prayers which he prayed day and night, during the period of his mourning and fasting (v. 4 comp. v. 6), to his faithful and covenant God, to obtain mercy for his people, and the divine blessing upon his project for their assistance.

Nine prayers of Nehemiah are recorded in this book.4 Most of them are quite short

Key Point of today’s message
The New American Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (2) Plea for God’s Help (1:8–11)

Nehemiah challenges us to prayer based on an understanding of God’s purpose and will as found in his Word. He also reminds us that we can always begin again in our relationship with God if we return to him in humility.

Can we begin to see people in a new way…1. See people the way God sees them. 2. Give place to start anew/afresh with others as an opportunity to show the redemptive nature of the Gospel.
His Prayer...

His Prayer...

More concern about God’s honor and more time in communion with God in prayer will result in more intense concern about prayer needs
Note: God’s special covenant relationship with his people.

The word ḥesed (translated here “love” in “covenant of love”) is used frequently in the Old Testament. It is closely related to the covenant and contains the idea of loyalty.8 It emphasizes God’s mercy and love to his people. “With those who love him and obey his commands” shows that covenant love or loyalty was to be reciprocal. God’s people are to obey God’s commands, which express his will. The mention of the covenant should always cause us to recognize God’s faithfulness and our responsibility. As Fensham says, “Love and the Law are the two pillars on which the covenant rests.”9

1:6 Nehemiah knew that God would hear; he was asking God to take action. One of the utterly astounding characteristics of biblical psalms is that the psalmist never doubted that God heard his prayer. How great is God that he can pay attention to each of our prayers, millions of them around the world, individually and simultaneously! Our minds cannot comprehend it, but God is beyond our comprehension.

Even though he was a leader, Nehemiah emphasized his identification with the people and with their sins. Leaders must not consider themselves superior to others; admission of fault will not ruin effectiveness

The New American Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (2) Plea for God’s Help (1:8–11)

Nehemiah realized that God justly punished Israel, but he reminded God that this very situation had been anticipated in Deut 4:25–31 and of his promise of mercy, faithfulness, and forgiveness.

This prayer is actually a prayer of repentance. It can be outlined as follows: (a) invocation to God; (b) confession of sins; (c) request to the LORD to remember his people; (d) request for success.

The New American Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (2) Plea for God’s Help (1:8–11)

Nehemiah’s greatness came from asking great things of a great God and attempting great things in reliance on him.

Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God. William Carey

Nehemiah Speak’s with The King

The New American Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (1) Nehemiah’s Sadness (2:1–2)

four months had passed since Nehemiah received news from Jerusalem.

Key Point
The New American Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (2) Nehemiah’s Request (2:3–5)

Nehemiah began to pray about the condition of Jerusalem, he had no idea that he would be the one to do the work.

The New American Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (3) The Requests Granted (2:6–8)

God’s work and our planning are not contradictory. J. White notes, “Prayer is where planning starts.”24 Nehemiah modeled good leadership; he prayed, planned, and acted in dependence on God and submission to his guidance. Neither is research contrary to dependence on God. Nehemiah knew who the officials were with whom he would have to deal, so he requested the credentials he would need as the project progressed

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