Bible-saturated Prayer

Nehemiah 1:4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 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. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”

Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the King.  His job was to taste the food and wine before the King, in case of poison.  His position was actually quite high, and some scholars believe that he was “second-in-command.” His walk with God is evident in this passage.  It seems that begins talking to God even as he was conversing with the king (v. 4; cf. 1 Thess. 5:17). This prayer is one of the most beautiful examples of spontaneous prayer in the Bible.  It is obvious that he had done much praying and seeking God prior to this, and his prayerful conversation with God just flows out of him, as if from a deep reservoir of faith.   His prayer is saturated with other biblical references. He may have been praying for the king for months, but now is the moment  he knows it will take an act of God to change the royal heart and Nehemiah pleads for God’s mercy.  Did you notice in verse 11 that He “delights to fear” God’s name?  He found JOY in worshipping our great and awesome God ! (verse 5)