Archive for the ‘Prayer: Say Anything?’ Category

Day Five: Prayer—I/we confess our sins

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Nehemiah continues and ends the prayer by saying this “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.”

As Nehemiah continues to pray, the way he approaches God is not in anger, petulance, or blaming of God. Nehemiah wasn’t reckless and blamed God saying, “Lord it’s your fault that Jerusalem is in ruins.  If you loved us and helped us, we wouldn’t be in this situation.  You must not be good, etc.” Scripture is very clear that no one who has ever blamed God for their lives’ issues fared too well.  First, it is not true that it is the Lord’s fault or that God is to blame.  However, when we are reactionary in prayer, or reckless in what we say, we can wrongly pray: “Lord it is because you don’t love or that you are not good, etc.”

Nehemiah had the proper biblical understanding that the issue the Israelites were experiencing was due to their sin and rebellion against the Lord. Therefore, Nehemiah prayed one of the most important and powerful prayers: Nehemiah repented before the Lord on behalf of the Israelites, and he positioned himself in there as well.

This is how we pray: we pray humbly and with a broken and contrite heart, acknowledging our sins and mistakes, and we humbly ask the Lord for forgiveness and for restoration.

One way to understand this world is that much of our issues are either because of our sin, someone else’s sin, or that we live in this sin-dominated world! Therefore, the only one that can resolve the issue of sin is God! Only in Christ is there victory over sin and the effects of sin.

But this is hard for us to accept at times.  Nehemiah could very easily have said it was the Persian’s fault, or that the system was against them.  However, the biblical truth is that Israel sinned against the Lord.  After this confession, Nehemiah ends the prayer this way: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.”

Nehemiah once again asks that the Lord listen and take seriously the prayers he is praying, but then adds: the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.

Nehemiah knew that he didn’t pray alone, but he prayed alongside all of God’s people.

This is also how we pray.  We do not pray alone.  We pray together.  We learn to pray as we pray together as God’s people.

Today, spend time in repentance and brokenness in regards to any area in your life that needs more of God’s rescue and transformation.  Also, pray knowing that you are not praying alone, but alongside God’s people.  Pray also for our generation, that the Lord would bring more healing and salvation, as we continue to go out share the gospel.


Day Four: Prayer—Take my words seriously

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Day Three: Prayer—The Unshakable Reality

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Day Two: Prayer—Before the God of Heaven

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Day One: Prayer—Place of our greatest lament

Monday, February 20th, 2017