Read: Nehemiah 1
There are times in a believer’s walk that the burdens of life compel one to earnestly seek the Lord’s favor. Nehemiah, a trusted servant of the Persian king, was confronted with a report about the distressing conditions of his kinsmen and Jerusalem. He was so overcome with despair that he spent days in mournful sorrow for the situation. In the midst of his grief, he fasted and prayed for God’s help out of concern for others.
The broken walls of Jerusalem and the broken hearts of men were problems Nehemiah recognized that he could not fix alone. Thus he turned to the almighty God for whom nothing is impossible. He called out to the “great and awesome God” for help.
As he acknowledged God’s power, he also recalled God’s covenant with Israel and asked God to remember it because there was still a faithful remnant who continued to follow the Lord. Yet as he prayed, he confessed both personal and corporate disobedience and the sin of Israel. Finally, he requested that the Lord make him successful and grant him favor before the king.
Nehemiah demonstrates for us how to pray with compassion for those in trouble, but also that as a leader, prayer needs to be a priority—done consistently and specifically.
PRAYER PROMPT: O Sovereign Lord, ruler and creator of all things, we need your help. Only you, Lord, can penetrate the spiritual darkness and brokenness of this age. Forgive us our lack of faith and anemic witness. Increase our faith and make us bold witnesses for you. Amen!
Kevin Carrothers serves as director of missions for Salem South Baptist Association and is concluding his second one-year term as IBSA President.