A Contemplative Prayer from Nehemiah 9
In the midst of a seriously difficult season of life (returning to a devastated homeland from slavery, facing the fear of death by enemies, being lied about and lied too, his work and livelihood thwarted, attempting to encourage his co-workers who were dismayed by the enemies, yet–seeing God’s hand at work, knowing He had led him to this and would see him through it) Nehemiah began with blessing God and rehearsing His wondrous deeds. Today’s prayer will follow Nehemiah’s example. Pray with me!
“Arise, bless the LORD your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the LORD.” (Neh. 9:5-6a)
You, alone, I will not look for any other god, for any other savior, for any other help. You are Good. You are Holy. You are not fickle like we are. You are faithful and true. You have lavished grace on us, and Your stores of grace never run dry! You are big enough to hold us, and our little ones. You are strong enough to not let go, to keep us.
“You made the heaven, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them…” (Neh. 9:6)
You did all that–surely I can trust You. You made all that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch…for thousands of years You have cared for Your creation and Your people. I can trust You even today. You are not weary, or worn out; You will sustain us still.
Yet, even after many acts of redemption and miraculous works… “they did not remember Your wondrous deeds which You had performed among them…” (Neh. 9:17)
O LORD! Help us remember! Help us notice. You proved Your great love at the cross; You proved Your great power at the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. You are at work still. Open the eyes of our hearts that we may see You at work. We will praise You and bless Your name forever! Help us lead this generation and the next to trust You, honor You and look to You alone as God.
“You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them…” (Neh. 9:17, 20)
Even so LORD, show us that LOVE, and fill us with Your promised Spirit! Lead us, instruct us, fill us with wisdom and passion, make us fruitful. Renew us, transform us (Col. 3:10-11; 2 Cor. 3:18).