Pastor Thomas Costello began a new series on the book of Nehemiah. He talked about praying for our leaders, and how we should also be praying for the people who hold the keys to our futures.
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 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, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER THOUGHT AND DISCUSSION
- Nehemiah is broken for the people of Jerusalem and feels called to rebuild the city. Do you feel like God has a special calling on your life for a city, a people, a place, or something in your own life? Share that with your group.
- Nehemiah “reminds God” of His promises as he prays. This is a great way to pray, because God likes us to quote His promises. Do you have something in your life that God has promised you that you are waiting on?
- Even if you don’t have a specific promise in your own life from God exactly, what are some promises in the Bible we can ALL claim in our lives? Share some verses and promises from the Word that can encourage each other so you can all have a promise to go out with.
- We are called to pray for our Leaders. Talk with your group about committing to praying for a leader this week. Choose one or two that you will really lift up this coming week or month.