Thy Strong Word – Nehemiah 1: The Nehemiah driven life: Prayer

 
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Rev. Ben Meyer of Hope Lutheran Church in Sunbury, OH, joins host Rev. Brady Finnern to study Nehemiah 1.

Nehemiah hears the news that although the temple had been built over 70 years ago, his homeland was still in shambles. In his vocation as a cupbearer he has influence with King Artaxerxes, but he doesn’t first go to the king to plead the case. He first fasts and prays to the LORD. May He help us to do the same when we grieve and pray the way of Nehemiah which reflects Luther’s example to his barber: Adoration-Confession-Thanksgiving-Supplication. “Lord God, You are the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love for us. We have all sinned and not kept the commandments and statutes You gave to us. We give thanks for Your protection from our enemies and ask that You would hear our prayers and give us mercy through all trial and joy. In Christ, Amen”

Thy Strong Word reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.

Thy Strong Word is hosted by Rev. Brady Finnern, pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Sartell, MN, and graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation.


Nehemiah 1

Report from Jerusalem

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.

Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”

Nehemiah’s Prayer

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”

Now I was cupbearer to the king.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org

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