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Nehemiah - How We Pray
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Nehemiah - How We Pray

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Assistant Pastor Chris Poirier's message, "How We Pray" from 5/18/2014 at First Alliance Church Raleigh, NC. …

Assistant Pastor Chris Poirier's message, "How We Pray" from 5/18/2014 at First Alliance Church Raleigh, NC.

Nehemiah was an amazing man of God and as he set out to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem he first fell to his knees and sought God.

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  • (Change Slide)
  • Have a simple question for you this morning: How do you pray?
    Do you do it alone? With others? Do you speak out loud or keep it in silence? Do you have a list??
    Take a moment to discuss with those around you.
    (Slide Change)
    2:00 Minutes
  • Good Morning, hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend thus far. So, what did you come up with? How do you pray? (Take two or three)
    So, as you might have guessed, prayer is our topic this morning and we’re going to take a look at one of God’s great prayer warriors: Nehemiah.
    Now, as Christians we are constantly burdened by the clash of our faith, our identity, and the cultures in which we live, right? You don’t have to raise your hand or anything, but how many of you are burdened by tough ethical situations, with financial issues, problems at home, problems at school, or maybe you’re being challenged by God because of sin in your life? Trust me I think we all carry a burden and we all want nothing more than to be free of it.
    Nehemiah had a burden as well. On his heart was the plight of his people, the loss of his identity, and for desire for his homeland, but his conditions left him in bondage.
    This morning we are going to take on the topic of just how we get ready for what God has in store for each of us and we’ll look at it through the preparatory lens of prayer.
    Nehemiah is known for his efforts to bring his people back to Jerusalem and the activities he undertook to rebuild the wall of the once great city. However, before this journey could begin, Nehemiah needed to prepare for his journey, escape from the bondage of his burdens, and fully embrace his calling.
    So let’s open our bibles to Nehemiah 1 and observe Nehemiah as he prepares for his journey through prayer:
    (Change Slide)
    3:00 Minutes
  • Read slide
    Hack-a-lie-ah
    Han-an-i
    (Change Slide)
    1:00 Minute
  • Read Slide
    (Change Slide)
    1:30 Minutes
  • Read Slide
    This is the Word of the Lord! Praise be to God!
    So, tet us go to the Lord in prayer as we get started this morning:
    Father God, we thank you for your Word and for your loving hand in guidance as we go about our lives each and every day;
    We thank you for the reality that it was through your Son Jesus that our sins have been blotted out and that in the atonement you covered our sin with the blood of the lamb;
    For we are not perfect God, we know we cannot live up to your highest expectations, but we glorify you in faith in your Son Jesus, that we can be in communion with you always through faith;
    Father open our hearts and our minds so that we may learn from your Word this morning; that we can see in the life of Nehemiah the marks of a true prayer warrior; that we may find your grace in our communion with you and learn from his example. It is in your glorious Son’s name we pray; AMEN.
    (Change Slide)
    3:30 Minutes
  • So, it sounds like Nehemiah had a lot on his plate does it not?
    Well, prior to this point in history things had not exactly gone well for the Jews of the region. For years they were plagued with war between Egypt, Assyria, and Persia.
    Now, if you take a look at the map we have here you can see the boundaries of the Persian Empire at the time of Nehemiah’s writing. Stretching all the way from modern day Libya and Egypt in Africa, across the Mediterranean Sea in parts of Greece and Turkey, and all the way across the middle east to the edges of India.
    Then right there in the red box is Jerusalem, keep this in mind while we start to talk about Nehemiah’s story.
    (Change Slide)
    1:00 Minute
  • At this point, Jerusalem had long since been captured and the remaining of God’s chosen people were brought into exile in Babylon by Nebuchadrezzar. (Red Box) The city and temple of God had been destroyed and with nearly 60,000 to 80,000 of his countrymen, Nehemiah would live away from their homeland for years having never even seen it for himself.
    By some estimates, Nehemiah was most likely part of the third generation of exiles if not further back as there was almost 150 years between the fall of Jerusalem and Nehemiah’s day, this means his parents, his grandparents, and even maybe his great grandparents most likely never saw Jerusalem with their own eyes either.
    Now, the Persians would eventually conquer Babylon and King Cyrus the Great would reign. It is during this Reign that the people of God would be released back to their homeland and where Nehemiah’s story begins, under the new Persian ruler Artaxerxes I as the royal cupbearer.
    (Change Slide)
    1:30 Minutes
  • So now you can see Susa (Red box) where Nehemiah starts his story.
    Nehemiah and his people were separated from their home, from one another, and had spent years in bondage as prisoners of war in a land that was not their own.
    They had been under the control and rule of multiple cultures at this point: Assyrian, Babylonian, and now the Persians. Each culture treated them differently: Sometimes they were nothing more than slaves, other times they had some freedom but were still a lesser class, and finally they would be treated almost as equals. It all came with a sense of disconnect with who they truly were socially, physically, and spiritually. In this bondage, or captivity, they had become different people and had lost themselves.
    It is here that our journey begins with Nehemiah. After years of not knowing their home, of having lost their faith, their spiritual identity, and burdening the weight of a culture that was not their own, Nehemiah prepares himself and his people to return home to Jerusalem. The journey will be hard, the mission they are on will not be simple or without opposition, however Nehemiah knows that in God, all things are possible.
    (Change Slide)
    2:00 Minutes
  • As the text starts off, we now set the stage for the rest of the story: Nehemiah 1:1-2
    Read slide
    Hack-a-lie-ah
    Han-an-i
    Here we learn of the background of Nehemiah and his family.
    We know he was the son of Hacaliah, though we do not know much about this father figure. We also see that he had at least one brother, Hanani though we know little more than the text provides and that he had since been back to Jerusalem and witnessed its condition first hand.
    Remember, at this point Nehemiah has no knowledge of the current condition of the holy city other than the stories from his ancestors.
    We also know that our story begins in what the Jews called “Chislev” more commonly known as the November and/or December timeframe to us.
    So it was late fall, nearing winter that word came from his brother and others. This is important to note for a few reasons: 1) That meant that winter was coming, so immediate travel plans would most likely be delayed until spring. And 2) The impending spring meant that the season of War would be approaching soon. Much like warring factions today, spring/summer marks the beginning of combat, during this time period it was no different. Winter makes for difficult fighting.
    We note this as we come to learn of the conditions in Jerusalem in the coming verses, the conditions of the walls at Jerusalem become very important knowing that unrest and potential unrest comes with spring time.
    Finally, we can see Nehemiah had a great concern for his people and even more so of their homeland. He specifically wanted to know the condition of Jerusalem and the people whom had returned. Note this concern, as it will become more and more evident that Nehemiah’s concern is always for the collective and not just of himself. After years of separation, the city that was the cultural and spiritual center of their identity as a people is coming into focus for Nehemiah as a place of redemption.
    (Change Slide)
    4:00 Minutes
  • Then we get to Nehemiah 1:3 where we can see the burden that is laid upon Nehemiah’s heart:
    Read slide
    As I had mentioned earlier, Jerusalem was taken in war by the Babylonians (Nebuchadrezzar) and completely destroyed. This once magnificent city was reduced to rubble leaving nothing behind. Even that of the great Temple of the Lord was destroyed and laid waste and it’s primary protection, the walls, lay in ruin leaving the city open to future attacks.
    Can you imagine? As a child growing up in exile, you were told the history of your people, the One True God and His mighty temple. The remnant, those who had returned with Ezra nearly 15 years before now, had rebuilt the great temple, however the city still lie in piles of trash and completely defenseless.
    Would it not weigh on your heart to find out that after many years, nothing has changed, it all still lie in ruin? Would you not feel helpless? Confused? Scared? Would you feel driven to do something? This city was the identity of the Jewish people and the place that the One True God dwelt here on earth with His people, would you not feel compelled to return it to the glory it once had?
    (Change Slide)
    2:30 Minutes
  • Read Slide
    Nehemiah 1:4 gives us the first glimpse of Nehemiah’s reaction to the report that his brother had given him.
    In the most amazing way, Nehemiah opens his heart to the Lord and he bares his soul to God as he shows his connection to his homeland, even though he has never seen it for himself.
    As a result of this deep anguish he goes straight into a state of mourning, fasting, and prayer. Note this here, fasting! What does that mean, that is when you go without food, some times even without water, it is a form of worship and response to sin that we little see these days in seeking God. Nehemiah was deeply grieved. His home, his people’s identity, his identity, still laid in ruin and defenseless against future attack.
    The following is an emotional prayer, a cry out to the Lord, that Nehemiah provides an example to his people, and to us today, on what a vividly, personal prayer with God looks like.
    He falls to his knees and spends the remaining verses interceding for himself, his people, their shared burdens, and calls on God for help where they cannot function alone.
    From this example I think we can all learn three things about prayer that are very practical, so get out your notes in today’s bulletin and let’s take a look at the text together:
    (Change Slide)
    2:30 Minutes
  • Nehemiah 1:5 says:
    Read slide
    Nehemiah starts his prayer by calling upon the greatness and glory that is the Lord. What would we call that today? We call it Praise don’t we? Nehemiah provided praise onto the Lord and this is our first point. You can fill these in on the Bulletin if you like, you should have some notes to follow along with there.
    Nehemiah was clearly demonstrating that he understood the Lord’s power, might, and glory! In a way, Nehemiah started off his prayer by recalling the great acts of redemptive history and God. Nehemiah reaches out with everything he has and focuses on the glory of the Lord where the Lord literally moved oceans, dropped food from the heavens, and provided water to those in need.
    So, how do we give God the glory and lift up the praise that He is due? I think we best glorify God by lifting up those things we see each and every day in our lives that is the Lord working in and around us. Just as we reported recently, Sarah hate to pick on you but it is such a praise, Sarah had been going through a lot medically and there were simply no answers coming. So, Sarah had asked for prayer and healing and as a Church we anointed her and prayed over her condition lifting her up and God has done an amazing work in her since. Praise be to God for such healing! I am sure people can think of other things as well, when God provided when things were hard, when God brought peace when things felt like they were unbearable, and where God continues to bless us as a church community.
    To this end, we need to be taking an example from Nehemiah’s prayer book and reach out to God by raising up His name and remembering those things He has done for us. In all things we pray, we should remain focused on what God did for us, not what we think we did for Him! Answers to prayer do come in many forms though, and this should not be lost in translation here, however one can often point to God’s work and we should constantly remember His work and glorify Him when we do.
    This is a humbling reality and Nehemiah understood that it is with a humble heart and knowledge of the one true God that brings us to our knees to communicate with Him. This is not simply us giving a “nod” to God or talking Him up, this is us demonstrating our understanding that God is the all powerful, the creator, the God of our fathers, the God of mercy, the God of love, and most importantly the God who gives us Grace!
    (Change Slide)
  • Nehemiah not only gave great praise on to the Lord, he continued in humility before God, where Nehemiah 1:6 and 7 states:
    Read slide
    It was not simply enough for Nehemiah to try and immediately get to his request, he wanted to show humility before the Lord and demonstrate his understanding of the teachings. Nehemiah repented of his sins and that of those around him, giving us the second key take away from Nehemiah’s prayer: to Repent.
    Before I continue, I think this is a good place to remind ourselves of just what it means to repent of our sin: According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary to repent means: to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right. That is to say, it is not simply admitting you have done something wrong, but also that you feel remorse for the action and that you are going to turn to doing right from that moment on. Sadly, I think we lose this in translation in our culture to just mean “feeling remorse” when God truly expects that we come to Him with a heart of remorse, with the intention to change the behavior and to hold sin as it truly is.
    Remember growing up thinking you could get one past your parents? Maybe you did something you were explicitly told you shouldn’t do, then you try and hide it and then you get caught anyway. You know the moment, when all three names come out of your parent’s mouth. You always seem to know something bad is coming when you hear your middle name.. So what do we try to do as children? We do what any self-respecting innocent child would do and deny everything. Then when that fails, we tend to try to justify what we have done to our parents using some type of broken logic. Like, “knowing” that the dog would be much happier in the dryer than sleeping in its bed. Okay, so I never tried to dry my dogs as a child, but I am sure everyone has a moment similar that we all wish we could simply..forget. However, as children and as adults we always try to justify that which we know is wrong. Do you know why? Because we know its wrong, but in explaining it away we think we feel better, when the truth is the failure or sin is still there festering at us.
    But, not Nehemiah, his conviction and his conviction on behalf of his people brought him to full repentance before God. God calls on us to repent of sin and to turn towards God, not away.
    (Change Slide)
  • So why is it so important to be repentant before God? Well I think we can take this advice from 1 John 1:8-9:
    Read Slide
    John reminds us here that the Lord Jesus Christ has the power to forgive our sins and in fact already has through our faith in Him! Nehemiah did not have the blood atonement of Christ, but Nehemiah did know that repentance is how one comes closer to God and God seeks those who confess and repent of our failures to Him. Nehemiah knew that his nation had been lost to wickedness and fallen out of step with God’s law. With every ounce of energy he had, he confessed for all of the nation Israel so that God might hear their cries for help.
    We too can take a page from this lesson. Our culture has made it so hard to admit failure of any type. Whether it is personal, moral, ethical, or even physical we simply aren’t programed to give in when confronted. However, this is exactly what God calls for us to do each and every day. We are called to be repentant of sin, that is to admit our failures and turn from them. Just as John stated in 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” In other words, we aren’t just lying to ourselves, but we are in fact lying to God! In this deception we act in the nature of our fallen flesh and not in that of our salvation in Christ. God seeks to redeem us and sanctify us that we can become more and more like Him, but that requires us to do so with an open and honest heart.
    God wants to hear from us, but He also expects us to be honest and completely transparent with Him. So, when you are lifting up prayers and praises also remember to lift up your sin challenges and failings. Nehemiah had to lift up an entire nation, but you and I carry our own baggage. Let God help you with the weight and in your humility God can be further glorified as you grow. It is through the reality of our praises that God empowers us beyond our sins and turns us back towards the track of glory for the Kingdom.
    Read Slide
    (Change Slide)
  • Finally, Nehemiah has arrived at the threshold of his prayer, where he hopes to reunite the scattered peoples of Jerusalem and return to repair what has been destroyed: Nehemiah states
    Read Slide
    Nehemiah intercedes directly for his people again right as Nehemiah 1:8 begins and continues into Nehemiah 1:9.
    Nehemiah had nothing to offer God, but he clearly understood the reality that Israel had gained this punishment over the years by ignoring God and His Word. As years of war and idolatry ravaged Israel and Judah, God’s people had lost sight of Him and fell away. Just as the Lord had promised time and time again, the people would fail and He would scatter them across the world.
    However, Nehemiah also knew that a time would have to come that they would be brought together again and it was in the Lord’s glory and obedience this would happen. Nehemiah knew that this meant that someone would have to place their sin before God and ask for His mercy and grace yet again. Through this entire process Nehemiah had set up the pieces needed to gain God’s attention and to lay out the repentance of the entire people Israel before God. Through this prayer, Nehemiah hoped to return his people to the Lord and the Lord to His holy city Jerusalem in victory.
    Remember the story when we got started? About the burdens and bondage of the people Israel? Israel and the chosen people of God had been tossed about for quite some time at this point. Through all of the trials and tribulations, war, famine, and the like, none of them thought even for a moment about going back to God to ask for help, ask for forgiveness of having strayed, they were lost in their circumstances. Can you relate church?
    Nehemiah saw the history around the situation, but also saw the reality that God could once again bring His people together and help them get back on their way. Nehemiah wanted to stop the cycle or sin and get things back on track and he knew this was all possible in God’s glory.
    (Change Slide)
  • How did Nehemiah know that? How did he know that God would listen? He knew this because he had his people’s history. He knew the story of the Exodus, of the taking of the Promised Land, and so forth. He knew that God would deliver His people as it had been promised!
    We can know this as well! John again gives us faith to see this reality in the New Testament where 1 John 5:14-15 says:
    Read Slide
    Christ hears our prayers, just as we know that God the Father heard the prayers of Nehemiah and his ancestors before him. We pray because we know a God that listens and wants to be a part of our lives.
    So what does Nehemiah do? He closes his prayer by simply asking God for what he needs at this point in time and that was to reunite his people, return to Jerusalem, and rebuild the city wall. So that’s it, point number three is to Ask.
    We may not be on a mission to rebuild the city of God, but I am sure plenty of you today have something you know you need to work on or something that is seems so overpowering that only God can tackle it. Just like Nehemiah and his people we all have our burdens to carry, for some it is hidden sin, for others it is challenges at work over ethics, for others still it is just making sure there is enough money to pay the rent this month, and yet all God calls on us to do is ask.
    Some times it is hard for us to come right out and simply ask for help, it’s not in our nature in this culture. However, God calls us into personal relationship and both Nehemiah and John knew that God would listen and that glory would be returned in His name and we can take comfort in that reality as well.
    Read Slide
    (Change Slide)
  • Right about now you may be saying to yourself, wow that Nehemiah character really seemed to have his prayer life squared away and really has an amazing heart for God, but Pastor Chris, so what? What does this all mean for my daily prayer life?
    The reality here is that there is nothing that God cannot do or accomplish and prayer is our gateway to seek God’s will in our lives. We can accomplish nothing without God, the Bible reminds us of this in every narrative and every message. Nehemiah knew this to be the case and fell to his knees that the Lord might hear him and empower him to do a great work for the Lord in bringing the chosen people back to their home of Jerusalem and reclaiming their identity in God!
    Nehemiah’s prayer is exactly what we are called to do with our interaction with God and will help to grow us in our relationship with Christ as we learn to pray as God has called us to do and Nehemiah demonstrated:
    (Change Slide)
  • So what was point number one? Praise, right!
    Nehemiah was calling attention to the God who lead his people out of Egypt, into and out of the wilderness, and ultimately to Jerusalem to build the temple. Nehemiah wanted nothing more than to bring that glory back to God and therefore interceded on his nation’s behalf. This is the God of creation, the God of mercy, the God of grace, the God of love, and the God above all things!
    This is the same God that works in our congregation, through our missionaries, through answered prayer in Sarah’s health, and through our constant support as a congregation and a church. He is good and we should give Him the praise He deserves by calling on Him who is the I am! Nehemiah reminds us that this isn’t about us, but rather it is about God!
    (Change Slide)
  • Point number two is what? Repent!
    After calling on that glory and wonder, Nehemiah humbled his heart and mind in the most amazing way.
    He took on all the sin of his nation and their ancestors so that God would hear his pain and woe. Nehemiah wasn’t so proud as to deny his own shortcomings before God, he was so grieved by the situation in Jerusalem he took on it all so that God would see his repentant heart and hopefully that of all of Israel.
    We too need to call out our sin. Humbling our hearts and placing our sin before God is what we are called upon to do. God seeks relationship with us, but we must be honest with Him in our sin. This isn’t easy and most of us probably want to avoid the conversation, however Nehemiah shows us that the repentant heart is that which admits our faults in front of God and promises to seek His glory and that which is good and holy!
    God seeks a repentant heart and hears our calls for help, remember John: “We deceive ourselves and do not have truth” But, if we repent, God hears us and will be righteous! So we must repent and clear the slate before God as we seek His help.
    (Change Slide)
  • And point number three is? Ask!
    Finally, after laying himself bare, Nehemiah lays at God’s feet his request to bring his nation back from the ends of the earth so that the Lord could be glorified. He didn’t dance around the subject or refuse to ask the guy at the next intersection for directions, he simply asked God for what he needed. See the point here church, Nehemiah didn’t seek personal power or success, he sought that which glorified the Lord. Nehemiah sought to bring the identity of God’s people back to their home, the home where God was the center of their lives and even communed with them in all His glory!
    How often have you been in prayer and we go around and around the issue? Maybe it’s only me, but sometimes I feel like my issues aren’t “important enough” for God, the point is that everything is important to God. John again tells us, “If we ask for anything in His will, He hears us!” He Hears us! How amazing is that! So, with a heart focused on God, ask!
    So what did Nehemiah do in his prayer life what we can use to grow, Church? He #1 Gave all the Glory to God in praise, #2 Repented of his sin and that of his people and #3 Asked for God’s Help.
    It doesn’t get much easier than that people and the reality that God is there, wants to hear our prayers, and in the process is glorified. Is that not simply amazing?
    (Change Slide)
  • And as we close today, I want to do something so you can see God’s revelation and its connectedness, so let us pray as our Father taught us: (We have it up on the slide for you)
    Read slide
    How cool is that?
    Take a quick look at the pattern and you should see what God had placed on Nehemiah’s heart:
    Verses 9 – 11 = praise (He is the creator!)
    Verse 12 = repent (There are many translations, but all point to asking for forgiveness)
    Verse 13 = Ask
    The Bible is a complete work and revelation of God, it’s all connected. Is it not amazing the God we serve? Where Nehemiah knew what he could not do alone, he knew he could do in God’s will. He dropped to his knees and sought God in order to bring Him glory. And here Christ reminds us of this model of prayer and how we are to seek the Father. Bottom line church, is to remember that we can bring our burdens to God and He will listen. However, we must remember that God is going to provide us with the answers that glorify Him and His kingdom most. So, be prepared for God’s reply and also like Nehemiah be prepared to act! God’s answer may not always come as we expect or even hope at times, but that is because we tend to focus on ourselves, and God’s goals are ultimately for the kingdom.
  • So if you feel like you are completely burdened today, simply can’t connect to God, or feel as if there is no hope, Nehemiah shows us that we can in fact provide our burdens up to the Lord and He will listen!
    Nehemiah and John both knew that they served a God that wants people to find their way and be together with Him. Better yet, it’s not that hard. In fact, if you have not given your life to this amazing God we have in Jesus Christ, you can do that right now or come forward during the next song and we will be glad to pray with you and tell you more about the God who listens.
    For it is through our faith in him that we are saved and our sins are blotted out. Christ covers our sins in his blood that he gave in perfect sacrifice upon the cross. For he came to live among us a perfect life, free from sin, but then gave of Himself on a cross that we all might be free for the burdens of sin.
    Nehemiah’s heart burned with passion for the return of his Lord and his people in worship in a rebuilt Jerusalem and the entire journey began with one simple prayer. Your life too can begin that journey or continue that journey in Christ and in three simple steps as you pray each day. #1 Give Him Praise, #2 Repent and #3 Ask God for Help.
    Christ and Nehemiah taught us to pray and provided us with the example that is pleasing to God.
    Let us bow our heads and pray as the worship team comes back to the stage:
    Father, thank you for Your word, thank you for Nehemiah and thank you for teaching us how to pray.
    Jesus, we ask that you would continue to work on our hearts and our minds when it comes to sin, that we would freely repent and seek you in all things.
    Just as with Nehemiah, give us the strength to seek you, praise you, bare our sins, and ask for your help as we navigate our lives.
    It is in your Son’s name we pray. AMEN.
    (Change Slide)
  • As you prepare for your week, take this time to think about your prayer life. Think about what Nehemiah demonstrated and what Christ Himself showed us in prayer. Take a few moments each day and lift something up, prayer or praise. He is listening! But, also be prepared to act, no matter the response from God. For in God all things are possible, without God nothing is possible, right? Before we go I will leave you with this, as the great modern day father of missions William Carey once said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God!” Nehemiah knew God was capable of great things, knew he needed God’s help, and sought God’s will in his life. So should we in seeking God in prayer. Take some time this week and apply the three things to your prayer life. Pray as Nehemiah and Christ modeled. Listen for God, and prepare to act. Attempt great things for God, for we should expect nothing less than greatness from Him.
    Let’s pray and we will be dismissed:
    Father God thank you for your Word today and for your message from Nehemiah.
    Thank you for this example from a true man of God that we might understand You better. I ask that you be with us as we go about our day and our weeks, but also ask that You would remain in our hearts as we go.
    Remind us of how Nehemiah prayed and empower us to call upon you with such burning desire and never to hide from You or our sin. For in you all things are possible and we are humbled that you hear each and every word we lift up to you.
    Thank you for being the God of Your word and for desiring communion with us as believers. It is in your holy son’s name we pray, AMEN.
  • Transcript

    • 1. HOW WE PRAY FIRST ALLIANCE CHURCH RALEIGH, NC MAY 18TH, 2014
    • 2. QUESTION: HOW DO YOU PRAY?
    • 3. HOW WE PRAY FIRST ALLIANCE CHURCH RALEIGH, NC MAY 18TH, 2014
    • 4. 1 THE WORDS OF NEHEMIAH THE SON OF HACALIAH. NOW IT HAPPENED IN THE MONTH CHISLEV, IN THE TWENTIETH YEAR, WHILE I WAS IN SUSA THECAPITOL, 2 THAT HANANI, ONE OF MY BROTHERS, AND SOME MEN FROM JUDAH CAME; AND I ASKED THEM CONCERNING THE JEWS WHO HAD ESCAPED AND HAD SURVIVED THE CAPTIVITY, AND ABOUT JERUSALEM. 3 THEY SAID TO ME, “THE REMNANT THERE IN THE PROVINCE WHO SURVIVED THE CAPTIVITY ARE IN GREAT DISTRESS AND REPROACH, AND THE WALL OF JERUSALEM IS BROKEN DOWN AND ITS GATES ARE BURNED WITH FIRE.” NEHEMIAH 1:1 – 1:3
    • 5. 4 WHEN I HEARD THESE WORDS, I SAT DOWN AND WEPT AND MOURNED FOR DAYS; AND I WAS FASTING AND PRAYING BEFORE THE GOD OF HEAVEN. 5 I SAID, “I BESEECH YOU, O LORD GOD OF HEAVEN, THE GREAT AND AWESOME GOD, WHO PRESERVES THE COVENANT AND LOVINGKINDNESS FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, 6 LET YOUR EAR NOW BE ATTENTIVE AND YOUR EYES OPEN TO HEAR THE PRAYER OF YOUR SERVANT WHICH I AM PRAYING BEFORE YOU NOW, DAY AND NIGHT, ON BEHALF OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL YOUR SERVANTS, CONFESSING THE SINS OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL WHICH WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU; I AND MY FATHER’S HOUSE HAVE SINNED. 7 WE HAVE ACTED VERY CORRUPTLY AGAINST YOU AND HAVE NOT KEPT THE COMMANDMENTS, NOR THE STATUTES, NOR THE ORDINANCES WHICH YOU COMMANDED YOUR SERVANT MOSES. NEHEMIAH 1:4 – 1:7
    • 6. 8 REMEMBER THE WORD WHICH YOU COMMANDED YOUR SERVANT MOSES, SAYING, ‘IF YOU ARE UNFAITHFUL I WILL SCATTER YOU AMONG THE PEOPLES; 9 BUT IF YOU RETURN TO ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS AND DO THEM, THOUGH THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN SCATTERED WERE IN THE MOST REMOTE PART OF THE HEAVENS, I WILL GATHER THEM FROM THERE AND WILL BRING THEM TO THE PLACE WHERE I HAVE CHOSEN TO CAUSE MY NAME TO DWELL.’10 THEY ARE YOUR SERVANTS AND YOUR PEOPLE WHOM YOU REDEEMED BY YOUR GREAT POWER AND BY YOUR STRONG HAND. 11 O LORD, I BESEECH YOU, MAY YOUR EAR BE ATTENTIVE TO THE PRAYER OF YOUR SERVANT AND THE PRAYER OF YOUR SERVANTS WHO DELIGHT TO REVERE YOUR NAME, AND MAKE YOUR SERVANT SUCCESSFUL TODAY AND GRANT HIM COMPASSION BEFORE THIS MAN.” NOW I WAS THE CUPBEARER TO THE KING. NEHEMIAH 1:8 – 1:11
    • 7. 1 THE WORDS OF NEHEMIAH THE SON OF HACALIAH. NOW IT HAPPENED IN THE MONTH CHISLEV, IN THE TWENTIETH YEAR, WHILE I WAS IN SUSA THECAPITOL, 2 THAT HANANI, ONE OF MY BROTHERS, AND SOME MEN FROM JUDAH CAME; AND I ASKED THEM CONCERNING THE JEWS WHO HAD ESCAPED AND HAD SURVIVED THE CAPTIVITY, AND ABOUT JERUSALEM. NEHEMIAH 1:1 – 1:2
    • 8. 3 THEY SAID TO ME, “THE REMNANT THERE IN THE PROVINCE WHO SURVIVED THE CAPTIVITY ARE IN GREAT DISTRESS AND REPROACH, AND THE WALL OF JERUSALEM IS BROKEN DOWN AND ITS GATES ARE BURNED WITH FIRE.” NEHEMIAH 1:3
    • 9. 4 WHEN I HEARD THESE WORDS, I SAT DOWN AND WEPT AND MOURNED FOR DAYS; AND I WAS FASTING AND PRAYING BEFORE THE GOD OF HEAVEN. NEHEMIAH 1:4
    • 10. 5  I SAID, “I BESEECH YOU, O LORD GOD OF HEAVEN, THE GREAT AND AWESOME GOD, WHO PRESERVES THE COVENANT AND LOVINGKINDNESS FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, NEHEMIAH 1:5 PRAISE
    • 11. 6  LET YOUR EAR NOW BE ATTENTIVE AND YOUR EYES OPEN TO HEAR THE PRAYER OF YOUR SERVANT WHICH I AM PRAYING BEFORE YOU NOW, DAY AND NIGHT, ON BEHALF OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL YOUR SERVANTS, CONFESSING THE SINS OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL WHICH WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU; I AND MY FATHER’S HOUSE HAVE SINNED. 7  WE HAVE ACTED VERY CORRUPTLY AGAINST YOU AND HAVE NOT KEPT THE COMMANDMENTS, NOR THE STATUTES, NOR THE ORDINANCES WHICH YOU COMMANDED YOUR SERVANT MOSES. NEHEMIAH 1:6 – 1:7 REPENT
    • 12. 8  IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, WE ARE DECEIVING OURSELVES AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US. 9  IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND RIGHTEOUS TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. 1 JOHN 1:8 – 9 REPENT
    • 13. 8  REMEMBER THE WORD WHICH YOU COMMANDED YOUR SERVANT MOSES, SAYING, ‘IF YOU ARE UNFAITHFUL I WILL SCATTER YOU AMONG THE PEOPLES; 9  BUT IF YOU RETURN TO ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS AND DO THEM, THOUGH THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN SCATTERED WERE IN THE MOST REMOTE PART OF THE HEAVENS, I WILL GATHER THEM FROM THERE AND WILL BRING THEM TO THE PLACE WHERE I HAVE CHOSEN TO CAUSE MY NAME TO DWELL.’10  THEY ARE YOUR SERVANTS AND YOUR PEOPLE WHOM YOU REDEEMED BY YOUR GREAT POWER AND BY YOUR STRONG HAND. 11  O LORD, I BESEECH YOU, MAY YOUR EAR BE ATTENTIVE TO THE PRAYER OF YOUR SERVANT AND THE PRAYER OF YOUR SERVANTS WHO DELIGHT TO REVERE YOUR NAME, AND MAKE YOUR SERVANT SUCCESSFUL TODAY AND GRANT HIM COMPASSION BEFORE THIS MAN.” NOW I WAS THE CUPBEARER TO THE KING. NEHEMIAH 1:8 – 1:11 ASK
    • 14. 14  THIS IS THE CONFIDENCE WHICH WE HAVE BEFORE HIM, THAT, IF WE ASK ANYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HE HEARS US. 15  AND IF WE KNOW THAT HE HEARS US IN WHATEVER WE ASK, WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE THE REQUESTS WHICH WE HAVE ASKED FROM HIM. 1 JOHN 5:14 – 15 ASK
    • 15. HOW WE PRAY
    • 16. HOW WE PRAY 1. PRAISE
    • 17. HOW WE PRAY 1. PRAISE 2. REPENT
    • 18. HOW WE PRAY 1. PRAISE 2. REPENT 3. ASK
    • 19. ‘OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME. 10  ‘YOUR KINGDOM COME. YOUR WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. 11  ‘GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. 12  ‘AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE ALSO HAVE FORGIVEN OUR DEBTORS. 13  ‘AND DO NOT LEAD US INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER. AMEN.’ MATTHEW 6:9 – 13 (LORD’S PRAYER)
    • 20. HOW WE PRAY FIRST ALLIANCE CHURCH RALEIGH, NC MAY 18TH, 2014
    • 21. HOW WE PRAY FIRST ALLIANCE CHURCH RALEIGH, NC MAY 18TH, 2014