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Nehemiah 1:1-2:8

The machinery of the saints will not operate without the energy of the Spirit. We connect to that power source through prayer. The church moves forward on its knees. That New Testament truth has an Old Testament illustration in Nehemiah. As we embark on a series from Nehemiah called, “The Requirements for Revitalization,” we must start here.

WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR INTERCESSION? (1:1-3)  There were two primary reasons he prayed:

  • Nehemiah prayed because of the culture surrounding him (v.1).  Shushan was also a fortress of evil.  He was a cupbearer to a pagan king—a child of God trying to stay pure in a polluted environment.  Our mission is to be in the world, but our mandate is to not be of the world.

  • Another reason Nehemiah prayed was because of the conditions that sorrowed him (v.2-3).  The people of God had been carried into captivity because of their sins.  They were in a desperate and defenseless state.  This is why we need revitalization. God’s people are in bondage to sin, beaten by Satan.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF INTERCESSION? (1:4-11)  Nehemiah’s prayer is a model for us.  We hear his:

  • Fervency (v.4)  He wasn’t just going through the motions.

  • Consistency (v.4 “days”)  Not only passionate prayer but persistent prayer is required.

  • Humility (v.5)  This is seen in his position, emotion, and diction. Prayer is not twisting God’s arm to do our will, but bowing our knee to do God’s will.

  • Purity  (v.6-8)  “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”  Unconfessed sin and an unrepentant state will short-circuit the current of Divine energy.

  • Expectancy  (v.9-11)  Our way is to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” but God’s way is, “You’ll see it when you believe it!”


  • A burdened heart (2:1-3)  Our hearts need to be broken over what breaks the heart of God.  As we think of the current state of the church and the future state of the lost, we ought to weep!

  • A broken will (2:4-5)  Prayer isn’t getting my will done in heaven, but God’s will done on earth.

  • A blessed response (2:6-8)  This is when God’s good hand is upon you! Our need is so great, we need what the hand of God alone can do!

Even the healthiest of our churches need to maintain vitality by vibrant intercession.  Those in decline—and there are many—have come to a pivotal moment to seek God desperately.

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