“4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,” NIV


‘There is too much working before men and too little waiting before God.’ Alan Redpath.

We will be taking time, over the next week or so, to study Nehemiah’s prayer in the remainder of chapter 1. It is one of the major examples of intercession recorded in the Bible.

Matthew Henry famously said, ‘When God intends a great mercy for a people, first He sets them a praying.’

This is the first of 12 instances of prayer found in Nehemiah. The book opens and closes with prayer. The man epitomises the principle of prayer without ceasing. We see him shooting ‘arrow prayers’ in the midst of his days and his work. I believe we can also say of Nehemiah that he prayed like it all depended on God, but worked as though it all depended on him. He didn’t merely pray, and he didn’t merely work. In him, these two things God has joined together were not put asunder. Prayer and work were married, and had a fruitful partnership.

‘In whatever man does without God, he must fail miserably, or succeed more miserably.’ George McDonald.

PRAYER: Lord, please pour the Spirit of prayer upon your whole church. May we be like Nehemiah, willing to work hard and to do all that is required of us, but always looking to you and your strength.