I said, "I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,Nehemiah 1:5(NASB)
Too often today when we hear some disturbing news, whether it is political or personal, we discuss it with other people and bemoan the serious situation. Then, depending on our nature, political bias, personal circumstances, financial situation, or individual character, we set about doing something to correct it - or we ignore it and leave it to somebody else.
But as we read the early verses in the book of Nehemiah, we find that after the initial distress of hearing the disturbing news that the captives in Israel were living in deep affliction, the walls of the great city of Jerusalem were broken down, and the formerly impressive city gates remained burned and charred from Nebuchadnezzar's initial invasions, this man of God wept, mourned, fasted, and then prayed to the God of heaven. He lifted up his voice in prayer and supplication to the great and awesome God in Whom he trusted.
Nehemiah knew that he was faced with a situation that he was incapable of addressing. He could not solve this insurmountable difficulty and so he set his heart towards the only One Who could do so. He acknowledged his own lack by acknowledging the supremacy and sufficiency of God: "Who preserves His covenant and loving-kindness with those who love Him, and keep His commandments."
Throughout the Scriptures, we discover that faith in the Word of God and trusting Him to fulfil His promises, is dear to the heart of the Lord. We read in Hebrews that without faith it is impossible to please God, and we discover many places in Scripture where the faith of people like Abraham, who believed God's Word and placed his trust in Him, are credited with His own righteousness.
David was an example of a man after God's own heart who served the Lord with his whole being. He possessed a willing mind... knowing that the Lord knows all things, searches the hearts of ALL people, and understands the intents of every mind.
Nehemiah's prayer was not a single, off-the-cuff prayer. He was a man who demonstrated a deep dependence on God at all times. It was prayer that underpinned his whole life. He knew that when a man or nation turns away from the Lord, they will fail in their endeavour, but when a man or nation places God in His rightful position - their plans and purposes succeed, for they align their own heart with God's own perfect plan and purpose.
Twelve times in his writings we see this man fall to his knees in submissive supplication, indicating that he was a humble man of faith who made himself available to the Lord and believed that God meant what He said. Nehemiah prayed according to the heart of God - so that the will of God would be fulfilled, through him.
We may not live in the same dispensation as Nehemiah, but the principles of faith, trust, dependence, supplication, and submission, apply in every dispensation, for without faith, it is impossible to please God.
May we be those that do not seek to sort out the troubling circumstances of life in our own strength, whether they are political, personal, social, or religious. Let us not try to use our own influence to address the important issues of our time without first bringing it to the Lord in prayer and supplication - for there is no situation that the Lord cannot solve. There is no heart so bitter and twisted that He cannot reach. There is no difficulty in our personal life or on the political world stage, that is insurmountable.
May we learn to pray according to the heart of God - so that the will of God will be fulfilled, through us.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the exemplary life of Nehemiah and for the wonderful way that He immediately turned to You in humble prayer and supplication, when confronted with insurmountable difficulty. May I, in like manner, not sidestep Your sufficient provision nor try to solve the problems of life on my own. When I see the increasingly tense situation on today’s world scene, may I turn to You in loving trust, praying for Your will to be done in all circumstances. In Jesus' name. AMEN.