Good morning ladies-
I just finished the last of my short plan. I'm planning on doing a longer one but it has been a great journey this last four days. The word of the day was really more like a statement of perseverance. During Nehemiah's time the walls of Jerusalem had been battered and many of the doors destroyed. During his service, Nehemiah felt God prompting him to return to his homeland and rebuild the wall around the city. So as he prayed, he made a decision to ask the king for time to rebuild along with letters for safe passage and materials and because it was in God's will all was provided.
Spending time in one passage made me do some research of my own. Nehemiah wrote in the first person so I really wanted to understand his journey. I did some searches of kings and of the wall to better understand this chapter. My search took me to the first book which chronicled his prayer and then the rebuilding of the wall. His prayer is what started a journey of success. It began with confessing his sins and the sins of his people, it ended with those same people coming together with their sons and daughters to fortify a crumbling wall and re-establishing Jerusalem's security. I believe it was prayer and repentance that allowed him to stay on course. He didn't just repent for himself; He repented for his nation and with those prayers and fortitude; He began to rebuild the walls.
The history behind it is interesting because it was a very poor time for those that lived in Israel. Had the king not granted Nehemiah materials and safe passage, it would not have taken place. History puts the re-build at 52 days. It would take an army working together to restore a wall like the one around Jerusalem in such a short amount of time and yet, it was done. Nehemiah believed that God could do great things but he also knew that those things would not happen unless he stood in the gap, prayed and repented for his sins and the sins of others. His course stayed on track because he did repent and God's plan was fulfilled. In 2015, we are no different. We put things in front of God. We get busy in our jobs, families or personal stresses and God comes last. I'm one to fall in that same trap. Last year, due to my busy schedule, I blogged and studied less. I am going to right my course and really concentrate on prayer and repentance in 2015 along with staying on course. Many don't believe that God is in control but I do. Like Nehemiah, we have an opportunity to build and fortify. It's not a wall; it's a message of grace and forgiveness. Jesus is real and we are the only ones that can defend the history of the cross. We don't believe in Him because we're dense. We believe in Him because He gives us safe passage and the materials to build His church.
So today, I am going to share Nehemiah's prayer to God. Will you join me in praying for your nation and for all around the world. We must pray for forgiveness so we can spread the word all over the world. He is hear and this is our time to proclaim Jesus is in our midst. I welcome in 2015 with all the wonder and challenge it will bring. Please pray this with me:
They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: “ 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. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 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 from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 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.” I was cupbearer to the king. (Nehemiah 1:3-11 NIV)
Can you say Amen? We can stand in the gap and confess our sins and those of others. We need to believe just like Nehemiah that God can and will rebuild his church. There is no time like now to sink our teeth into Scripture, renew our hearts and minds toward Jesus and fulfill His plan for our lives. Our time is now. Let's allow History to repeat itself in a good way and pray for the sins of others as well as ourselves. Christ is listening!