So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4
Do you sometimes feel that a dark cloud of discouragement is following you no matter what you do? Have your peace and joy been replaced by feelings of hopelessness and frustration?
Certainly the prophet Nehemiah experienced great discouragement as he learned of the distress and destruction in Jerusalem. Chapter one, verse 4, tells us that in response to this news, he grieved and prayed for days.
The interesting part of this passage is the description of what Nehemiah did next. After his period mourning, he offered God a four-part prayer.
First, Nehemiah offered praise to God for His faithfulness and loving-kindness (verse 5). Next, he confessed the collective sins of his people (verse 7). Then, he acknowledged the appropriateness of God’s judgment (verse 8). And finally, he asked God to show him success and compassion (verse 11).
Nehemiah’s heartfelt petition contains valuable insight for the discouraged: no matter what happens in the physical world around us, God is in control. He is able to work all things, including our failures, into His plan for our good.
If you are discouraged today, use Nehemiah’s words to create your own prayer to God. Give Him praise, confess any sin in your life, acknowledge the authenticity of His Word, and request His favor as you get up and try again.
The Lord is faithful in all things. Don’t let discouragement block your view of His awesome love and power.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness and lovingkindness. Renew my focus. Help me get up and try again.