Faithlife Sermons

Prayer for Courage

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Notes
Transcript
Nehemiah 1:4–11 ESV
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. And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.

Outline

I. Address God (Nehemiah 1:5)
II. Confess sins of nation and self (Nehemiah 1:6-7)
III. Pray/read scripture (Nehemiah 1:8-10)
IV. Ask for mercy and success (Nehemiah 1:11)

Devotional

The book of Nehemiah opens with Nehemiah hearing that the walls of Jerusalem are in ruins. With a troubled heart Nehemiah goes to God in prayer.

Focal Point

Nehemiah 1:11 ESV
O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.

What does it mean?

This was not the first time Nehemiah had prayed. Verse six lets the reader know that Nehemiah had been praying “day and night for the people of Israel”.
Where we enter the story, the Israelites are in exile under the king of Persia, Artaxerxes. In Ezra chapter 4, we are clued in that the king of Persia had been persuaded, by Israel’s enemies, to halt any repairs to the city of Jerusalem. They argued that if Jerusalem is rebuilt, the people in that region will rebel against the king. The king agreed halted all restoration to the city of Jerusalem.
In hearing of the ruins of jerusalem and how it is left vulnerable to the enemies that surround the city, Nehemiah is filled with hurt and depression for his homeland. is compelled by his sorrow to act. In chapter 2 that action that Nehemiah will take is to request from the king, pends the majority of his prayer in confession to God (vv. 6-7) and praying through scripture (vv.8-10). However, he is not content to go to the Lord in prayer, but is compelled to take action. In chapter 2, Nehemiah is going to ask the king if he will release him to repair the city that means so much to him. But his is filled with fear for how the king will respond. He is in need of courage.
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