Advent Week 3 Thursday – Nehemiah’s Prayer

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Advent Devotions
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The season of Advent provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the fulfillment of God’s story in the form of unfolding promises.  As we wait for the coming of Jesus on Christmas, we also cling to hope as we await God’s promises to be completely fulfilled.  You are invited to enter this story each day during Advent by reading a passage of scripture, perhaps while lighting candles on an Advent wreath.  A time of silent prayer and reflection is encouraged along with singing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  This faith practice works well individually or with loved ones.  Many people choose to use an Advent devotional as a prayer before an evening meal.

Nehemiah 1:5-11a – Nehemiah’s Prayer

I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments; let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Both I and my family have sinned. We have offended you deeply, failing to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen to establish my name.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great power and your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION
How is your own brokenness and sin a part of the brokenness and sin of the world? How does God respond?
(if you choose, share thoughts in the comments below)

O come, O Branch of Jesse, free
your own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell your people save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

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