Rebuilding a Future Nehemiah Part VIII

Leave a comment

February 26, 2015 by directorfsm

clip_image002[4]

 

PRAYING PART THREE

 

5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.

Nehemiah 1:5-11

 

            The last two times we were in Nehemiah we looked at the subject of prayer. How it was Nehemiah’s final response to learning of the brokenness of his people in and the city of Jerusalem. We discovered what prayer is (and is not), why we pray, to whom we should pray, the reason(s) we should pray, how are we to pray and our expectations in prayer. Tonight we will look specifically at Nehemiah’s prayer. I will use four points to illustrate what we discussed.

 

1)  Only God is worthy of our prayer.

 

Verse 5  And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

 

            a.        Nehemiah starts prayer by crying out I beseech thee. His pray is both passionate and decisive. He is not just asking no; he it is more like begging God to hear his prayer. He does this with already understanding that God will hear.

 

            b.        But not to just anyone. No Nehemiah cry’s out to the only person who can be of help in the situation God. Not just any god either, but the Lord God of heaven.

 

            1 Tim 1:17   Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen!  Only one is all knowing, powerful and ever present. Only He is worthy of all praise.

 

            c.         Next Nehemiah recognized and clearly acknowledges the Lord God’s exalted position the great and terrible God. Men throughout history like Nero, Genghis Kahn and Stalin have been elevated to great status and most have been terrible human beings. In describing God as the great and terrible God; Nehemiah has something completely different in mind.

 

                        The great as in the One who is able to accomplish mighty things

                        The Terrible as in the One who is able to impose immense judgments

 

            God, creator of all is the only one capable of both righteous justice and mercy at the same time. Calvary is all the proof we need of that.

 

          1 Chronicles 29:10-11   Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. 11 Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

 

          Ps 97:9   For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.

 

2)  Pray acknowledging our humble state

 

Verse 6-7  Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.  7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

 

            Like Nehemiah when we pray we must acknowledge our poor state. By that I mean not our present situation whether it is illness, financial or legal woes we are battling, but our total and complete inability to rise above such a status without God.

 

            a.        Admit our limitations: 

 

1 Chronicles 29:6-9 (AMP)  Solomon said, You have shown to Your servant David my father great mercy and loving-kindness, according as he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and uprightness of heart with You; and You have kept for him this great kindness and steadfast love, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of David my father, and I am [a]but a lad [in wisdom and experience]; I know not how to go out (begin) or come in (finish). 8 Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people who cannot be counted for multitude.9 So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad. For who is able to judge and rule this Your great people?

 

            Solomon commonly referred to as the wisest man whom ever lived understood he was nothing apart from the wisdom and understanding that only God could provide.  So too did Nehemiah declare this by saying the prayer of thy servant and children of Israel thy servants. This is not a self-deprecating statement calling himself and all Israel servants. No it is an acknowledgment of their simple state of being.

 

            b.        Admit we are sinful men

 

Luke 18:9-14 (AMP)   He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made nothing of all the rest of men: 10 Two men went up into the temple [[i]enclosure] to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee [j]took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men—extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers—or even like this tax collector here. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I gain. 13 But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the [k]especially wicked sinner that I am! 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted

 

            Whenever we come to God in prayer, no matter the reason, be it to beseech Him for help or offer praise for something He has provided; we must as Nehemiah confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I {insert your name here} and my father’s house have sinned

 

            God cannot and will not have any part of sinful man’s prayers apart from the confession of sins. Asking God while hiding or withholding sin and you ask amiss. (Ps 66:18, Is 59:2)

 

            c.         Admit our unworthiness

 

Luke 15: 17-19 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

 

            The story of the prodigal son is oft told as a good news story. That no matter how bad you have screwed up God (our Father) has forgiveness in His heart and will always welcome you back into the fold.  Yet so many fail to get the key to God’s forgiveness is our own realization and admittance of our unworthiness to be called a son of God. If we fail to acknowledge our worthlessness and refuse to confess our transgressions how can a loving God offer forgiveness?

 

            Do not expect help from God nor a fellow believer if you will not admit your faults and your need for help. Nehemiah knew this and did not hesitate to declare it when he said we have dealt very corruptly against thee.

 

            d.        Admit our disobedience

 

            If you want God to help your efforts you must be obedient to His decrees. Nehemiah understood this and confirmed that the people of Israel; have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

 

            There comes a time in everyone’s life when the will run out of excuses. Roman 14:11-12 says; For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.   For some unfortunately that day will not come in this world And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Heb 9:27).

 

            I am one of the blessed ones, God in His grace and mercy saw fit to bring me into that realization on the third day of my incarceration. I was tossed (he could not hand it to me due to the distance and bars) a bible by the Chaplain.  Catching it I opened it to where my thumb had landed and what I read brought me to my knees: Deut. 11:26-28 26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

 

            Although I had spent time years before in a bible preaching church even helping in their bus ministry I was not converted. I was a sinner running from the truth living on the dark side. But this day God made clear my future I could as it were continue down the road to damnation or cry out to God surrendering all to the call of God and enjoying the blessings of obedience.

 

            I would like to close with two quotes on the subject of prayer:

 

The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked.  But this is a most dishonouring and degading conception.  The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires.  No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best.                                          —Arthur W. Pink

 

To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees. ~ Billy Graham

 

            As these quotes point out God is not some instant genie granting wishes. No He alone is worthy of deciding life’s course. If we want that path to be one that honors and glorifies Him we have no choice but to humble ourselves and get on our knees in prayer.

 

            Next time we will look at the Hope and expectation of Nehemiah’s prayer.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Archives

%d bloggers like this: