09/29/15 At the Beginning, During, and After

READING: Nehemiah 11-13, Psalm 126

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  The book of Nehemiah begins with Nehemiah’s extended prayer of brokenness over Jerusalem (Neh. 1:2-11), and it ends with a simple prayer of blessing: “Remember me, my God, with favor” (Neh. 13:31). In between are the several prayers we noted in the devotion, “Praying on the Way,” plus additional prayers in chapter 13. Without question, prayer was in Nehemiah’s DNA. 

Nehemiah shows us so much about doing God’s work. He began his work in prayer, grieving over the condition of the fallen holy city. He prayed to God before he asked the king’s assistance (Neh. 2:5). He prayed spontaneously whenever petition and intercession were in order. He worked hard and challenged the people to work hard, asking God to remember his “deeds of faithful love” (Neh. 13:14, 22). In the end, he knew he still needed God to remember him with favor. 

So, when should we pray? At the beginning of a task, during the task, and when the task is finished. Nehemiah the leader modeled that pattern, and through him we learn that, “A man who approaches God on his knees will stand tall in any generation.”*

PRAYER: “Father, let me not start a project without praying. Let me not take a step without praying. Let me not end a task without praying. If I stand tall, let it be on my knees.”  


*Smith, J. E. (1995). The Books of History (Ne 13:30–31). Joplin, MO: College Press.


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