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… But if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them form there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name. – Neh 1:5-5 & 9
So many times, I get asked the question how to pray, well here in Nehemiah 1 it has it lined out pretty well. Nehemiah is asking for the people of Israel to be reconciled back to God. He does this in a powerful and humble way that amazes me every time I read this passage.
First, we see the proper perspective, calling on the Almighty God. Not that God needs accolades, however, it reminds me of my position as I come before the King of Kings. Then He reminds God of His covenant. Again, this is not for God, for how can God forget. No, this is for Nehemiah, showing God that He is versed in the Scriptures and not just paying lip service to God.
Then, the confession, and he confesses not only the sins of Israel, but also his own sins. Nehemiah is willing to take accountability for his actions, the actions of his family and the of his nation. He knows where they have come from, he has learned from the mistakes they have made. This is an important lesson for me, I must confess so that I may repent of my sin.
Finally, we see the reminder again, that God, the all-powerful creator, has made a promise to reconcile any who would seek to know Him. He calls upon the promise of God to return his people, not just to a life of comfort, but instead to a life of worship.
So, when I pray, I must maintain the proper perspective. I have to remember who He is and who I am. I also need to understand who God is, this can only come from studying the scriptures and understanding His promises and love for me. Then I need to confess, releasing all that is not of God and repenting. This is a very important part of prayer, if I am holding on to wickedness in my life, it hinders God’s blessings. Finally, remembering the promise of God that He has the power to reconcile anyone, no matter how far they have strayed.
Take time today and pray. Remember and be in the presence of the almighty God. Let Him fill you up and allow you to give Him glory; coming back into a state of pure and honest worship.
God Bless and Love be with You,