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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, April 24, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Nehemiah fasted and prayed for several days, expressing his sorrow for Israel’s sin and his desire that Jerusalem would again come alive with the worship of the one true God. Nehemiah demonstrated the elements of effective prayer: (1) praise, (2) thanksgiving, (3) repentance, (4) specific requests, and (5) commitment.
Heartfelt prayers like Nehemiah’s can help clarify (1) any problem you may be facing, (2) God’s great power to help you, and (3) the job you have to do. By the end of his prayer time, Nehemiah knew what action he had to take. When God’s people pray, difficult decisions fall into proper perspective, and appropriate actions follow.
Nehemiah prayed for success in this venture, not just for the strength to cope with his problems. Yet, the success he prayed for was not for personal advantage, position, or acclaim. He requested success for God’s work. When God’s purposes are at work, don’t hesitate to ask for success. (NLT)
Nehemiah 1:1-11 – These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
In late autumn of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had survived the captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been burned.”
When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, laws, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands, even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’
“We are your servants, the people you rescued by your great power and might. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success now as I go to ask the king for a great favor. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”
In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.
Nehemiah prayed, ”Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.” — Nehemiah 1:11 (NIV)
Pamela Gilsenan (Colorado) titled her story “THE TRUST FACTOR;” here is a portion of Pamela’s story:
“For years my commute to work took me under and over several interstate highway bridges. . . .
“One day I found myself thinking, Wow! Every day I trust these structures of concrete and steel rebar to do their job. But do I trust God that much? What if I were to trust God more with my life and family?
“. . . From scripture, we know how much God cares about our circumstances and is willing and able to help us. Even though a situation may seem hopeless – a prodigal adult child, an incurable illness, or a fear that doesn’t seem to leave us alone – we can pray, confident that God hears us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God cares about me even more than I can imagine.
Prayer: Dear God, whether we are facing a small crisis or a seemingly impossible task, remind us that you hear our prayers and answer them. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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