The people are in great trouble and distress, they have returned to Jerusalem from exile and the city itself is in a state of disrepair. Nehemiah finds this out and he weeps, then he seeks God on their behalf through prayer day and night. He confesses the sins of the Israelite nation as well as his own. Then he reminds God that he promised to gather them to himself if they obeyed him and finally he encourages himself by remembering that God is the redeemer and has great strength.
This passage in Nehemiah 1 is relatable to the state of the UK now. The nation seems to be in turmoil and shaken. There is fear and uncertainty with Brexit and with the alarming rise in knife crime, to name but a couple of issues. Also in many ways the UK; which was has a foundation in the Christian faith; has turned its back on God. The nation needs to seek God.
It is a wonderful passage to use to pray for the nation and I did so with 600+ people in Westminster Chapel in London earlier this week. It is a critical time for the UK and I urge you join me in praying. We are called to pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and for where we live (Jeremiah 29:7). Our prayers are all a fragrant offering to God (Revelation 8:3-4) and he hears us (1 John 5:14-15).
In the ‘Prayer and Worship’ section of my blog a number of posts can be found exploring different aspects of prayer including: the importance of prayer, persevering in prayer and ideas for what to pray for.