What a crazy world we live in! If you have spent any amount of time listening to the evening news or reading articles online, it sure does not take long to realize we are in big trouble. Politically, socially, culturally, financially in every part of our world there seems to be chaos. It appears that what is right is now wrong and vice verse. People are hurting and confused.
Back during the Old Testament, the things of life were just as messy. People, God’s people, were living in bondage as slaves to their enemy. I can imagine they too were extremely overwhelmed, fearful and discouraged.
During this time in history, there were two men Nehemiah and Daniel, separated by decades, living with these difficulties. These men recognized the despair of the people of God and knew what to do. They prayed for the God of heaven to help.
This is part of one of Nehemiah’s prayers.
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, 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. Nehemiah 1:5-6
This is part of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9.
Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.” Daniel 9:17-19
What if we prayed like Nehemiah and Daniel did? What if we repented of our sins and confessed the sins of all God’s people, past and present? What if we beseeched God because of His great mercy and for His great name? What might God do because of who He is?
Take a look at these prayers of Nehemiah and Daniel. Their prayers were effective. God heard them and moved mightily. We are wise to learn how to pray as those two men did and watch as the awesome God of heaven helps us.