Nehemiah was a Jew living in a foreign land, the cup bearer to the king of Persia. This meant he faced death every time a drink was brought to the king. Upon returning to Jerusalem, he was appointed Governor of Judah. Above all this, Nehemiah was patriotic, persistent, positive, persevering, pure in motive, and prayerful.
His example as a leader is what we all hope for when we go to the polls and vote. Our hopes are rarely met but we can learn much from Nehemiah in how to pray for the leaders of our nations.
Nehemiah the Patriot:
His heart longed for his homeland and those who had escaped captivity.
“That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah: and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
And it came to pass, when I heard these words,
that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days,
and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven…” Neh. 1:2-4.
His heart broke for his fellow Jews and the city of God. He did not complain or wring his hands. He took his pain to the One who could make a difference.
Nehemiah owned up to the sin of his people.
“…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. We have dealt very corruptly against thee…
Hatred and division, corruption in the highest levels, sanctioning of sin through the laws of our land, refusing God’s word as the final authority on what is right and wrong and doing what is right in our own sight, how can we hope to stand unless we first fall to our knees. It is time to…
or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Rev. 2:16.
“If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1John 1:9,10.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:
let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren.” James 4:8-11a.
Our prayer for the nations:
Our Father in heaven, Almighty God who reigns forever and ever, your word is true and right.
We as a country have sinned against you in forsaking your law, your standard of right and wrong. We have followed after the gods of power, money, and perversion of every sort. We have called evil good and good evil. May we as one see ourselves as you see us and repent of the evil we have called our god, the pride that fills our hearts with self. Forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
May our hearts be pure before you and our minds renewed in your word.
May our hearts break for the sin that breaks us in two.
May we return to you as our true Leader to follow you in all your ways.
You will judge the nations.
May we humble ourselves now that we may stand in the end.
All is asked in the name of Jesus Christ our coming King and for your glory, honor, and praise. Amen.
Will you join me for your nation as I pray for our nation? Nehemiah is all about reformation. As God brought it to pass in Nehemiah’s day, He can and will if we humble ourselves today. Do you want peace in your land? Pray.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 2Tim. 2:1-4.