Nehemiah is a minor prophet book. He was a cup bearer to the King of a foreign land. Only very trustworthy people are appointed as cup bearers. The book begins with Nehemiah receiving news from friends travelling from Jerusalem about the sad state of affairs of they holy and beloved city. Nehemiah felt remorse and prayed a prayer.
I wanted to just highlight a few verses.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
To relate this to us, do you feel the same way about something that mattered to you. Think about your country, the town you grew up in, your house, or the church. Do you mourn for the state of affairs of your church? i.e. the ministries, the people, the full-time servers when things don’t go right.
“LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Here, Nehemiah demonstrates his understanding that is is because of Israelite’s sin that caused the current state of affairs. Before he launches into a tirade of wishes and supplementation, he confesses the sin of the people of Israelite and seeks the forgiveness of God. Sometimes before we pray, we may not have fully acknowledge the consequences of our behaviors, thoughts or interactions. I urge you to begin thinking about the cause of every point that you are seeking supplementation from.