As Christ’s followers we need the Hebrew Scriptures…The OT. 1st & 2nd Chronicles, Ezra & Nehemiah all one work. Historical context: Post exile Israel 458 BC. Exile is ending…Jews have been returning to Jerusalem. Two Governors, Sheshbazzar & Zerubbabel had rebuilt the temple with help from the Prophets Haggai & Zechariah over 20 years.

Now Ezra & Nehemiah arrive. They were two of the most influential shapers of post exilic Judaism. This is the part of the story that be believe is Nehemiah’s account of events [God inspired].

Where we are in the story of God and His people? This is an important book of history about humanity. How does this book echo themes we find in the book of Acts? You can also see echoes of Numbers & Deuteronomy [God forming His people into a Nation]. Here HE is Re-forming His people… and Nehemiah is His Leader.

Kingdom Leadership is what we will see from Nehemiah…Christ Like Leadership. As a leader Jesus was: Intentional / Relational / Cooperative. Our Vision here @ Midtown of Disciple Building flows from Scripture like this. Intentional / Relational / Cooperative

Our journey begins with a person who has a heart like God’s…

Nehemiah 1 NLT

1 These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

  • This part of the work is 1st person, Nehemiah speaking

In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah.

  • This scripture is an important part of the history of God & His chosen people
  • We are given historical markers and know exactly when these events occurred
  • The Babylonians invaded but they have been overthrown by the Persians
  • Susa is also the location of the book of Ester

I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

  • He is focused on the welfare of his people…God’s people
  • The wall is the key issue… Nehemiah recognizes that the problem is the wall
  • There was hope for the exiles to return to the city…but a city with no walls…

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

  • The magnitude of this news moved Nehemiah to ‘Action’ / Actions
  • He stopped his entire life [have you ever done this?] I did when my Father died!
  • He actively mourned…for days…He wept!
  • He fasted
  • He prayed to ‘The God of Heaven’ [Right God = Right Prayer]

What drove him to such radical action? It was his concern for others [NOT himself]

Kingdom Building starts with People! Nehemiah had great concern, compassion and care for people. Specifically the people of who were now back in Jerusalem.


  • We cannot pray properly without God teaching & empowering us
  • This Scripture points us to the fact we need to prepare to pray [God Led]
  • Serious business requires serious preparation
  • In order to build Kingdom Life we need to prepare with Prayer!


5 Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of unfailing love with those who love Him and obey His commands, 6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for Your people Israel.

  • He begins by clarifying who he believes God is and How HE relates to His peps
  • He asks [begs] that God would see His persistence and listen to his prayer

I confess that we have sinned against You. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that You gave us through Your servant Moses.

  • Next is confession of sin: Individual / Family / Nation
  • Owning up to the specifics [Using the standard of God’s Law]

8 Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. 9 But if you return to Me and obey My commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for My name to be honored.’

  • Next He asks God to do what He has said He will do
  • This is basically asking God to enact His will
  • You can never go wrong with the prayer: ‘Thy will be done!’
  • God was true to His word about the scattering [Exile]
  • Nehemiah is asking God to now bring His people back to Jerusalem

10 The people You rescued by Your great power and strong hand are Your servants. 11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring You. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”

  • He then reminds God that His previous rescue of His people made them HIS
  • Nehemiah claims that status: SERVANT and as such asks that God hear him
  • What HE asks specifically is for the King to be kind and show him favor

In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.

  • He was in a place that he could get access to the King [like Ester]

Prayer is how WE begin to build Kingdom Life!

Preparation For Prayer:

Developed a heart for people that reflects God’s heart for HIS people!

Mourns, weep, fast, and listen for DAYS!

Put yourself in a position to hear from and speak to God.

A Pattern Of Prayer:

Recognition of who God is

Remembrance of God’s promises to care for HIS people

Confession of sin at all levels

Specifically focusing on the situation and God’s known will

Asking God to hear and act in accordance with HIS known will

Application Questions:

How are you going to change the way you approach God based on this Scripture?

How do you make prayer a bigger part of building your Kingdom Life?

Have you ever undertaken a study of ‘Biblical Prayer’? If not, why?