teach me to pray

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2

I’m simply enjoying the gracious counsel of God’s word as I am led forward in faith today, with new mercies from God.  His steadfast love is wonderful and full.  I so appreciate how the Holy Spirit reveals truth and brings comfort and instruction from the Word which always seems to lead me to my knees in prayer.

“The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”  Nehemiah 1:3

Something has to be done… I need to do something… let me fix this… I must confront that… I… I… I.  Yuck!  I live in a sin-infested world and in a sin-sick church and in a sin-habituated flesh.  There’s no getting past all that is ‘wrong’ around and in me.  But part of my daily struggle is my response to these things and that’s why I am so encouraged by the Word which tells me of the responses of many others who either responded wrongly or rightly.  For me today, the testimony of Ezra and Nehemiah (and Daniel and many others) lead me to respond rightly to the reality of sin in our world… church… lives.

As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”  Nehemiah 1:4-11

Week after week as I’ve read and considered my Sovereign God in the books of 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles and Ezra… and now Nehemiah, I am encouraged to see the wonderful evidences of grace bestowed on God’s people.  God does what man cannot… will not.  God changes the heart; not in all cases, but when He chooses to.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever… how is He leading His people today?  How am I responding?  Am I fasting and praying before the God of heaven?  


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