Praying Day and Night

Nehemiah 1: 5-6: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants.” (NIV)

One of Nehemiah’s brothers from Judah went to Nehemiah and told him the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and its gates had been burned. Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king at that time. Nehemiah 1:4 tells us that Nehemiah sat down and cried. For some days he mourned, fasted and prayed.

Look above and read verses 5 and 6 again. What a beautiful model for us on how to pray when we receive bad news. Nehemiah acknowledged who God is and praised him. He reminded God of the covenant of love with his people. Then he prayed.

As Christians, our lives are not perfect either. We face personal brokenness and destruction and see them all around us among believers. Some of us go through divorce, life-threatening diseases, multiple car accidents and multiple losses of loved ones. Others of us struggle with a marriage that needs a miracle, a job that threatens to break our spirit or lack of a job, the heartache of prodigal children, sickness in the family, financial difficulties because of a bad economy or a ministry that seems to be falling apart.

God made us with tears. No matter what needs to be rebuilt, like Nehemiah, we too can sit down and cry. Then we can follow Nehemiah’s next steps and mourn, fast and pray “for some days.”

Nehemiah demonstrated the formula for us. We can praise and worship God and remind him of his covenant with us as his children “who love him and obey his commands.” We can ask him to listen to our prayers. In verses 6 and 7, Nehemiah confessed his sins and those of his people. Confession remains an important part of rebuilding, and we must also include it.

Dear God, I weep in brokenness. Help me rebuild my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Application: When will I mourn, fast and pray for the rebuilding of my life or ministry?
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Copyright 2010-2012, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.

She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.

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