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Bible Reading / Book by Book: Quarter 2

Day 64

NEH.1, NEH.2

The remainder of Ezra tells of his journey and arrival in Judah. When he arrives, he leads the people in a great spiritual return to God. Nehemiah describes the same time period as Ezra. Ezra is a spiritual leader while Nehemiah is more political. Ezra is concerned with the Temple while Nehemiah is concerned with the city walls.

Nehemiah is in Susa, the capital of Persia. He learns Jerusalem is still in shambles. He prays that God will help him to be part of the solution, and he is sent to Jerusalem by the king. We see the beginning of opposition and the beginning of Nehemiah’s careful planning to re-build the walls.

There is much to be learned from Nehemiah’s pattern of prayer. He spends most of his prayer acknowledging Israel’s failures and God’s faithfulness. He only adds his actual request at the very end. He also prays before he makes his request to the king. It’s like he’s setting the stage for the opportunity he hopes will come later. When the opportunity actually arrives, he only speaks a brief prayer. When we have a concern, how do we pray? Is it lots of praise for God and only a brief request or the other way around? Do we pray before we get into the difficult spot, or do we ask for God’s help only in the moment?