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 Issue #95 Fri, 8 Sep 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #95 Fri, 8 Sep 2006   March 12th 2007, 00:15

"Pray without Ceasing"

Dear Youth,

Nehemiah was a cupbearer in the king's palace, a job with important responsibilities. But he was more than the king's servant; he was a man of God.

One day when Nehemiah was in the palace, some men arrived from Judah. Nehemiah took this chance to ask these men about the condition of Jerusalem and it's people since the captives had returned there with Ezra some time before. What the men told him saddened him, they said that "The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire" (Nehemiah 1:3). The Bible says that when Nehemiah heard these things he "sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven" (Nehemiah (1:4).

The condition of Jerusalem and the people that lived there touched Nehemiah's heart. What could he do to help these people? Nehemiah prayed fervently to the God of heaven, asking Him to forgive his sins, and the sins of the people that lived in Jerusalem. He also asked God to forgive them for their transgressions.

Although Nehemiah was much troubled by the reports from Jerusalem, he always tried his best to keep a cheerful countenance when before the king. He had a request to make of the king but now was not the right time to ask, he must wait until a favourable time. "Four months Nehemiah was compelled to wait for a favourable opportunity to present his request to the king. During this period, while his heart was oppressed with grief, he constantly endeavoured to carry a cheerful and happy countenance" (Southern Watchman, March 8, 1904).

Though Nehemiah tried to keep a happy countenance always, it must have been evident that something was troubling him, because one day when he was serving the king his wine, the king said to him "Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart" (Nehemiah 2:2). Then he said to the king "Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my father's sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven" (Nehemiah 2:3,4).

The time had come to make known to the king his request. And before he answered the king, he sent up a silent plea to God for help and divine guidance. "…Nehemiah dared not answer at once. Important interests were at stake. The fate of a nation hung upon the impression that should then be made upon the monarch's mind; and Nehemiah darted up a prayer to the God of heaven, before he dared to answer the king". (Historical Sketches of SDA Missions p.144). Nehemiah was so close to God that when he heard the king' question he naturally and instantly sent up a quick prayer to God. This is what the Bible means when it says to "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we can send up quiet little prayers to Jesus, about whatever is troubling us, or whatever we would like to thank Him for. We do not have to wait until the end of the day to talk to God, we can do it throughout the day and we can be connected to Him always and walk with Him moment by moment. It is this constant connection to Christ that gives the christian his success.

After his silent plea ascended to heaven, Nehemiah answered the king. He told the king the things he would need to go and start rebuilding Jerusalem. The king was most gracious and gave him everything he asked for and more! This demonstrates simply what amazing things can happen if we would but simply trust Jesus and stay connected to Him throughout the day.

--Talisa Jackson

PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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