Pray and Act
There are two major hinderances to us thriving as a church body:
1. Our sinful nature
2. Our culture
WHAT IS THE PASSAGE SAYING
I. Report and prayer (1:1-11) A.Authorship (v.1) B.Report (v.2-3) C.Response (v.4)
- The importance of fasting (v.4)
- If we love God and the advance of His glory, we will feel deep sorrowwhen the advance of the gospel is halted, and we will be disciplined and
diligent to fast and pray.
- Nehemiah shows that he understands the Scriptures and wants to see theScriptures fulfilled.
1. Addresses God (v. 5)
2. Confession (v.6-7)
- Reminder of God’s promises (v.7-9)
a) A good example of a way to pray. Want to pray Biblical prayers?Pray God’s Words.
b)Do you want to love God, God’s Kingdom, and then advance of the
good news of God’s triumph in Christ? Do you want the strength of character to look a desperate situation full in the face and have the courage to do something about it? Fill your mind with the Bible! This is not just a practice unrelated to everyday life, it is a practice that can change your everyday life! We need to see God’s glory in the ordinary. How God uses small things to make major differences.
- Concern for others (v.10)
- Action (v.11a)
E.Nehemiah’s role (v.11b)
F. If only we all prayed prayer like this everyday. (v. 11)
1. If we actually believe God hears us it would drive us to pray more.
2. A small prayer life reveals a belief in a small God. II. The King Grants Nehemiah’s Request (2:1-8)
A.Nehemiah has been praying and planning
B.ILLUSTRATION OF COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE
C.Let me encourage you to follow in Nehemiah’s footsteps on this point. He seeks to be used of God to see his own prayers answered by:
1. Studying the Bible
2. Praying for God to do what He has promised to do in the Bible.
3. And give thought to how and what you can do to be used of the Lord to
bring His promises to pass.
III.Nehemiah Arrives on the Scene (2:9-20)
A.Nehemiah’s character has been made strong by the study of the Bible. He is confident as he calls on God to do what He has promised. And Nehemiah’s boldness and the blessing of answered prayer he has experienced make him a powerful leader for God’s people.
WHAT IS THE PASSAGE TEACHING US
Those who love God and His kingdom will study the Bible, pray, and do everything they can to advance the Gospel, all the while summoning others to do the same.
HOW DOES THIS POINT US TO JESUS
Who is the Bad Guy of this Passage?
Who is the Hero of this Passage?
Who are we in this passage?
Who is the Ultimate Hero of this Passage?
WHAT CHANGES BECAUSE WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED GOD’S WORD
Today, God’s name is no longer at stake in a city with walls and gates.
God’s name is now at stake in the lives of His people, who are the new temple of the Holy Spirit. What walls and gates need work in your life? Your marriage? Your children? Does your eye-gate need attention? D you need to put guards over your eyes and ears and be more strict about what kind of music you listen too or what movies or shows you watch?
Maybe you recognize that just as Jerusalem lay in ruins with gates burned in Nehemiah’s day, so your life is in ruins today. Your gates are burned down, and you are helpless to put out the flames destroying you. The message you need to hear is that there is a greater leader than Nehemiah who can deliver you from all the danger facing you. There is One who is more zealous for God’s name to be hallowed, for God’s kingdom to come, and for God’s will to be done. That zeal led Jesus to give His life so that all who trust Him will be saved. Hear the good news that God has worked salvation in Christ, and this day trust in Jesus in order to be saved from God’s wrath over your sin.
This is my Father’s world. O let me never forget
That though the wrong seems often so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and heaven be one. (Maltbie D. Babcock
- When Nehemiah learned of the sad state of Jerusalem, he wept, mourned, and fasted. Do reports of the sad state of the church in America affect you the same way? Why or why not?
- When you hear bad reports about the sate of a church, do you instinctively pray the way that Nehemiah did when he heard about Jerusalem? Explain your reaction.
- How do you think Nehemiah became a person who was so concerned about Jerusalem? What can we do to increase our personal investment in spiritual matters?
- How do you think Nehemiah became someone who instinctively responded to challenges by crying out to the Lord? What can we do to develop a habit of prayer?
- What things in your life should concern you more than they do?
- What things in your life are there about which you should be crying out to theLord and making plans for the opportunity you may get to address the
- If the Lord gave you an opportunity to advance His kingdom, what aspects ofstaying in the Persian palace would be most tempting? How can you put that enticement in the proper perspective?
- When you come into a new situation like the one awaiting Nehemiah in Jerusalem, do you have a tendency to go straight to work, or do you have the patience to survey the situation first?
- To what did Nehemiah appeal when he sought to motivate the people in Jerusalem to join him in the rebuilding of the walls? How does that still function as a motivation today?
10.How would you characterize Nehemiah’s response to Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem? To whom should we respond in like manner today?