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“The reforms instituted in the days of Nehemiah demonstrate the necessity of conformity to God's revealed law, the disastrous results of forsaking His Word, and the main elements involved in a true reform of worship among His people”
Genuine reform is preceded and undergirded by fervent prayer (Neh. 1: 1- 2: 8)

“Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra who served in the court of king Artaxerxes. The book that bears his name opens with the account of an inquiry that he made concerning the holy city and the Temple. News of the sad state of Jerusalem and its people moved the heart of this godly man to fervent prayer that God would be pleased to restore its former glory.

Prayer is a dominant theme throughout Nehemiah, as the Scriptures emphasize the relationship between God’s sovereign plan for His Church and the instrumentality of His people's faithful actions. Every genuine revival, whether during Biblical times or in subsequent history, has been preceded and undergirded by fervent prayer, as God stirs the hearts of men to urgently cry out to Him that He might glorify His name in the earth. Much may be gained by an examination of the main elements of Nehemiah’s prayer.

First, Nehemiah’s prayer begins with recognition of God's transcendent glory and covenant mercy towards those who love Him and keep His commandments...

Second, this is followed by a sincere confession of both personal and corporate guilt for failure to keep the commandments, statutes and ordinances which God plainly revealed through His inspired servant Moses…

Third, an acknowledgement is made of the solemn warning of God to scatter the people if they proved unfaithful to His ordinances, as well as His promise to restore those who returned to Him in obedience…

Fourth, it is noted that the promised restoration centered upon the place which God had chosen for the exaltation of His name, that in His pure worship the redemption accomplished by Christ might be seen…

Fifth, and finally, Nehemiah asked the Lord to prosper him in his efforts to become an instrument of reform by granting him favor in the eyes of the king…

Prayer is indispensable, but it is nothing but empty words if the pray-er is not willing to submit himself as an instrument for the accomplishment of God's glory. His subsequent interactions with both the king and the people are punctuated by prayer, showing us the necessity of this means of grace for the accomplishment of genuine reform in every age.” (Comin, 159-162)

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