You are the One who gives favor with authorities. You are the One who encourages us to ask largely and specifically to people of great influence. You are the One who gives us safe passage. You are the One who opens Your hand wide and fulfills the desire of every living thing. You are the One who uses us to rebuild ancient ruins, the desolation of many generations. You are the One who makes all things beautiful in Your time.
Nehemiah 2New King James Version (NKJV)6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River,[a] that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple,[b] for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Open Your ears! Open Your eyes! Hear us! We echo Nehemiah for our city. We too, have acted very corruptly before You, we have not treasured Your Words. We stand in a long line of those who have disordered loves, and priorities. Our city bears the shame of our neglect of loving You, and loving others with a full heart. Forgive us! Abundantly pardon! Heal us and we'll be healed. Heal us and heal our city through us. Save us and we will be saved. You are a God who saves to the uttermost. No city, no history of faithlessness is too difficult for you.
And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses
God Who Hears
You not only give us a heart that inquires about the condition of our city, but You enable us to turn distressing, reproachful news, into prayer. May we be moved with the plight of our city, even though we ourselves are in comfort. May our knowledge and desperation move us to action, and may our first action be prayer to You, God of Heaven. God who is moved by what moves us.
Nehemiah 1:3 And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”
4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.roken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”
4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
You are the One who stirs us to ask questions from the right people regarding the state of survivors, and our city. You give us a desire to know the true condition of our city from multiple sources. You, in Your wisdom will inform our praying. Raise up unlikely people, with unlikely skills, from unlikely places to rebuild our city. Show us who they are. Show us if it is us. We trust You, Builder and Maker of the City we seek, to do this.
[ Nehemiah Prays for His People ] The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.