God's People Must Always Pray and Not Faint (Luke 18:1)
1. This morning we pointed out from 1 Timothy 2:1-2 that God's people are to pray for everyone, including civil leaders. 2. Concerning prayer, we learn from Luke 18:1 that "God's people must always pray and not faint." 3. In this verse Luke showed that this is the main point made in the parable that follows (vs.2-8). 4. This evening we are focusing on Nehemiah and how he always prayed and never fainted as he served God and his fellow Jews. 5. Before we examine the occasions when Nehemiah prayed, let us be reminded of . . .
I. THE HISTORICAL SETTING FOR THE EVENTS RECORDED IN NEHEMIAH
A. After the Jews were in captivity 70 years in Babylon, Cyrus conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews who so desired to return to their homeland so they could rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (536 BC). B. Zerubbabel led a group of Jews to Jerusalem, and they rebuilt the temple. C. In 457 BC, Ezra led a group of Jews to Jerusalem, and a number of religious reforms were made. D. In 444 BC, Nehemiah was serving as the king's cupbearer in Persia, and his brother and some other Jewish men visited him (Nehemiah 1:1-2). E. Nehemiah learned about the condition of Jerusalem (1:3). F. Nehemiah became upset (1:4a), and the rest of the book tells what he did about the situation. G. He always prayed -- his book mentions 11 times when he prayed. H. Let us examine . . .
II. NEHEMIAH'S PRAYERS
A. (1:4b-11) He prayed after learning about the condition of Jerusalem. B. (2:4b) He prayed before asking the king to send him to Jerusalem so he could rebuild the wall. C. (4:4-5) He prayed when the enemies of the Jews ridiculed them. D. (4:9) He and his fellow Jews prayed when their enemies conspired against them. E. (5:19) He prayed after settling the interest problem. F. (6:9) He prayed for strength when the enemies of the Jews tried to slander him. G. (6:14) He prayed when a false prophecy was made against him. H. (13:14) He prayed after cleansing the temple. I. (13:22b) He prayed after he stopped unlawful activities on the Sabbath. J. (13:29) He prayed after he rebuked the Jews for marrying foreign wives. K. (13:31b) He prayed after he cleansed the priests and the Levites.
1. In summary, Nehemiah prayed: a. after learning bad news b. before he made decisions c. when his enemies mistreated him d. for strength during trials e. after taking care of a problem f. for God to remember the good he did. 2. Perhaps this information will help us to understand why Nehemiah was such an effective leader of God's people -- he always prayed, and he never fainted. 3. Let us follow Nehemiah's example.