Faithlife Sermons

Coram Deo

Beholding Becoming/Contemplando Transformando  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro:

Hello, welcome back. I pray you have enjoyed our time of worship in song and giving. Now we enter our time of worship in the Word. We are in a series called Beholding Becoming. Were we behold the glory of our Lord and by beholding him we are transformed into his image. The more we spend time with him the more become like him, act like him think like him. In this series we are focusing on 3 spiritual disciplines Studying & Memorizing the Bible, Prayer and Fasting. Today we are going to continue studying prayer from the OT passage of Nehemiah 1.
Nehemiah is placed in the middle of the OT but in history this is really the last book of the Old Testament written. After Nehemiah writes his last words we have 400 years of silence from heaven to earth until one day when angels visit Joseph and Mary and about 30 years later we find John the Baptist preaching and Jesus shows up and he proclaims Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
So this being the last book of the Bible, the time it is being written is when the people of the nation of Israel are returning to Jerusalem after they have been in captivity from Babylon, Babylon was conquered by the Persians and King Artexerxes has allowed some of the people from the nation of Israel to return home. They are returning in 3 phases, 2 of the phases are written about in the book of Ezra and the 3rd is written about in Nehemiah. In each of the 3 phases we see God working to rebuild the nation. In one phase we see the Temple rebuilt, in another phase we see the community is rebuilt.
But now we come to Nehemiah 1 and we find a crisis.

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.

Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”

The temple is rebuilt, the community is rebuilt but the walls of the city are destroyed, which means they have no protection from enemies. Anyone can come in and destroy them at any time because they are defenseless. News reaches Nehemiah and in the rest of the chapter we read about what Nehemiah does about this crisis. But before we move on so quick let us pause a moment and ask the question what do we do in a moment of crisis, when we feel defenseless, when an unbelievable tough situation arises in our lives, when a global pandemic hits home and I lose my job, a family member or friend or you get sick, what do we do? (pause)
What do we see Nehemiah doing? What I would like to do today is take a look at Nehemiah’s prayer and draw out some practical applications for us to use as we pray.

I. Pray

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

A. What we find Nehemiah do in this moment of crisis is pray!

1. As soon as I heard the words

2. Not only did he pray, but the news hurts him deep, he wept and mourned

a. What do you do when you hear bad news

a1. Youngblood’s/Ready’s
a2. #PrayFor Adam

B. What we find in Nehemiah is a habit/discipline of Prayer.

1. I continued fasting and praying.

II. Prayer Is Relationship Driven

A. Before the God of Heaven/Coram Deo

Coram Deo is the before the face of God, we should live our life as if we living before the face of God. I would also say we should pray as if we are before the face of God. In Exodus we read Moses talked with God face to face as with a friend. How beautiful would it be if we came to God and prayed as if we were communing and building a relationship with a friend. How different would your prayers be?
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