On Dangerous, Desperate Prayers
Nehemiah presents us with a picture of a practical, detail-oriented, can-do sort of man who is also a man of deep, dangerous, desperate prayer. For some reason, we can sometimes think that the practical and the prayerful can’t function in the same heart. Nehemiah demonstrates that that kind of thinking is wrong. Take some time to prayerfully ponder this paradoxical man and his God.
Where does this story take place? When? What position does Nehemiah occupy?
What happens to precipitate the events of the story? What prompts Nehemiah to action?
What is Nehemiah’s first action after hearing the news from Jerusalem?
Describe the contents of the prayer that Nehemiah prayed?
What is his attitude toward God? What was he mourning and fasting for? How do you suppose that affect his prayer?
What does he want God to do for him?
In 1:4 Nehemiah says that he prayed and fasted for “some days.” The months of Kislev (1:1) and Nisan (2:1) are four months apart. Why did Nehemiah wait so long? What do you suppose were Nehemiah’s prayers like over that time?
Nehemiah says that he was “very much afraid” in 2:2. Do you know why?
Nehemiah mentions a prayer in 2:4. What do you suppose that prayer was like?
We see here examples both of long concentrated prayer and brief on-the-run prayer. What different roles do you see those two types of prayer playing in Nehemiah’s situation? In your situation?
How did God use Nehemiah’s prayers? Did Nehemiah recognize that? How might the situation have been different if Nehemiah had not prayer in the way he did?
How did Nehemiah integrate prayer and action in his life? How might you imitate Nehemiah in integrating prayer and action into your life?
©2012 Gary A. Chorpenning; all rights reserved.
- Prayer Note #23 – A Bible Study on Prayer – Psalm 84:1-12 (gachorpenning.wordpress.com)
- Prayer Note #24 – Haggling with God – Genesis 18:16-33 (gachorpenning.wordpress.com)