The Prayer

of this wonderful man, his cry which has been on record all these

years, and a great help to many people:

"I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God,

that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe

his commandments: let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes

open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray

before thee now, day and night, for
the children of Israel thy

servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we

have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the

commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou

commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word

that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I

will scatter you abroad among the nations: but if ye turn unto me,

and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast

out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them

from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen

to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people,

whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer

of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to

fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and

grant him mercy in the sight of this man."

When he began to pray I have no idea that he thought he was to be

the instrument in God's hand of building the walls of Jerusalem. But

when a man gets into sympathy and harmony with God, then God

prepares him for the work He has for him. No doubt he thought the

Persian king might send one of his great warriors and accomplish the

work with a great army of men, but after he had been praying for

months, it may be the thought flashed into his mind:

"Why should not I go to Jerusalem myself and build those walls?"

Prayer for the work will soon arouse your own sympathy and effort.

Now mark, it meant a good deal for Nehemiah to give up the palace of

Shushan and his high office, and identify himself with the despised

and captive Jews. He was among the highest in the whole realm. Not

only that, but he was a man of wealth, lived in ease and luxury, and

had great influence at court. For him to go to Jerusalem and lose

caste was like Moses turning his back on the palace of Pharaoh and

identifying himself with the Hebrew slaves. Yet we might