Wed Pm Worship I have seen what man can do and I am not Impressed
Text: Nehemiah 1:5-11 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
2. C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;
Nehemiah 1:5 And said, 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:
Nehemiah 1:6 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.
Nehemiah 1:7 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.
Nehemiah 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Nehemiah 1:9 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.
Nehemiah 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
Nehemiah 1:11 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. For I was the king's
We will begin tonight by recognizing some of the shortest men in the Bible. Who just came to your mind? It's Not Zacchaeus because here we have "Knee High Miah!" But it was not him either because shorter than him was Job's friend, Bildah the Shuhite [shoe height!] well if it is not these can anyone tell me who the very shortest man? It was the Roman Centurion who slept on his watch!
I truly believe that God does His best work, in impossible circumstances!
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
The walls which once surrounded Jerusalem now stood in heaps. The gates were burned with fire. It broke Nehemiah's heart. He began to weep and pray and fast over it.
v. 4 One of the major themes which emerges from the book of Nehemiah is prayer. Nehemiah realized there are many things you can do AFTER you pray, but there is nothing you can or should do UNTIL you pray!
God's people have a powerful tool at our disposal. It is the mighty weapon of prayer.
2 Corinthians 10:4
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Prayer moves the hand that moves the world!
Here is one of the mightiest prayers in all of the Bible.
1. A prayer of contrition.
He understands he's kneeling before the great God of heaven.
v. 5 He isn't coming to God flippantly. Yes, prayer is conversation with God, but always with reverence for who He is. Jesus prayed this way in His example of the Lord's prayer. "Hallowed be Thy Name."
The way some of us pray to God I wonder if sometimes God must think, "Are you talking to me? I didn't recognize myself in this conversation!"
I'm thankful that I can talk to God as a friend and as a Father, but I absolutely must remember Who He truly is!
The reason many of us have too high of an opinion of
ourselves is that we have too low of an opinion of our God!
2. A prayer of concern.
He wept and prayed, and then fasted. Jesus said the big things come by fasting. Do you ever fast?
"We pray without crying, we give without sacrificing, we live without fasting...is it any wonder that we sow without reaping?!"
Nehemiah never could have rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem until he wept over the ruins. The burden led to the prayer that led to the miracle! You cannot heal what you do not feel.
Tears are a language God understands. He is moved by what we are moved by.
3. A prayer of confession.
v. 6-7 The best prayers are the ones that God hears. And He has promised that He doesn't hear the prayers of those who willfully aren't right with him.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Nehemiah knew it was sin that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and her walls. And he also knew it would do no good to weep over the ruins if he was not willing to repent of the sin which led to those ruins.
Is your life lying in ruins? Is sin to blame? Don't just cry over your plight. Make it right!
4. A prayer of Confidence.
v. 8-10 He says, "God, remember those promises from your Word? I'm holding you to your Word!" I am holding on to the promises until the problems are defeated. Nehemiah not only knew God's Word, he believed it.
Here is real prayer. Not just thinking of what you want, and asking God for it. Not just having your agenda and begging God to get on board w/ your plans.
Real prayer is taking God at His Word. Real
prayer is claiming the Rock Solid Promises He has given us in His
Either Jesus meant what he said when he gave us power over all the power of the enemy or he didn't mean it. Either he meant what he said when he said greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world or he didn't meant it.
Pray this way: Identify a promise of God, and then stand on it, and tell Him about it!
11 Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.
God here says that we can tell Him what to do if it is based upon His Word!
Nehemiah says God, I'm asking you now to do what you have said you will do. We are returning to you in faith and repentance, and now we will await your favorable response back to us as you have promised. Nehemiah is holding God to his Word.
Isn't this audacious? Yes, but it is a holy audacity our God is not offended by. He delights in us believing Him and taking His Word. Without faith it is impossible to please God, and so having faith pleases Him! Faith is taking God at His Word. Faith is believing God's promises regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the consequences.
Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, it is laying hold of His willingness!
When I lack faith about something, I pray: God, I'm like the boy's father who said I believe, help thou my unbelief. I'm claiming your Word!
When I struggle with pride I pray: God, the devil wants me to be proud of myself like Nebuchadnezzar who looked out over his great kingdom. You humbled him. "Them who walk in pride you are able to abase!" So I humble myself before you, and ask you to not let me be lifted up beyond measure.
When I have a financial need, as a tither I come to God and remind Him: God, you have promised to bless me for tithing, and you said you would open the windows of heaven, and rebuke the devourer that sucks up all our resources.
I ask you to honor your Word in this matter, and I know
you will. [and He always does!]
5. A prayer of Commitment.
v. 10-11 "Servant" is the key word. Nehemiah is making himself available to God. He is willing to be the answer to his own prayer. He says Lord, something needs done in Jerusalem, and if you want to use me to fix it, I'm available!
It does no good to be contrite, concerned, confessed, and confident, if you aren't personally committed. If you are a half hearted Christian one foot in Church and one in the World. More Carnal than Christ like! We must be willing to put feet to our prayers, not just praying for God to do it thru someone else. If you want to pray for someone to be saved, great, but remember you are at the top of God's list as a potential witness to help make it happen!
"Here am I Lord, send someone else?" No!
Getting on our knees is wonderful, but what do we do when we get up and our feet hit the floor? We can do nothing until we pray, but there is much we should do AFTER we pray!
But be careful, often we are guilty about only doing the latter...trying to make things happen in our strength, and not first looking to God to help us!
Prayer illustration: "The Miracle of Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary"
--In 1962 a small group of men saw the need for a good seminary in a day when many were going liberal. They prayed that God would use them to bring it pass. They prayed for 9 years before they were moved to do anything! They had no money, and no ideas.
* They approached a local church that had extra room. The pastor jumped up and down, saying he had been praying for the facilities to be used more during the week. The seminary was started with a handful of students, and for the next few years it grew and grew.
My point? Their God is my God and your God! That miracle
happened because of prayer, and we serve the God of the impossible, and we
should pray impossible prayers with contrition, concern, confession, confidence,
and with real commitment to be used of God!
* Prayer teaches us patience. Nehemiah didn't rush out to do the work until He sought the Lord about it.
...he that believeth.