7 Prayers that Nehemiah Prayed. The bold words indicate prayer, the other words are provided for context.
Let’s take a look at Nehemiah’s prayer life!
All scripture shown is from the Book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah Prayed for His People: Chapter 1:1-11
- The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments,
let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer Your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel.
I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.
We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands,
then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.
Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.
Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah Prayed to God about Rebuilding His Homeland: Chapter 2:1-5
- In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king.
I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”
I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king,
“If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?”
It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
Nehemiah Prayed When Facing Hostility to the Wall Rebuilding: Chapter 4:1-9
- When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said,
“What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices?
Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble – burned as they are?”
Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building – even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”
Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from Your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
Nehemiah Prayed & Asked God to Remember His Acts of Kindness: Chapter 5:18-19
- Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews.
Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.”
Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.”
Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.
Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery.
Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.”
When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!”
So I called together a large meeting to deal with them and said: “As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles.
Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!”
They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.
So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?
I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest!
Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them – one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.”
“We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.”
Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised.
I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “In this way may God shake out of their house and possessions anyone who does not keep this promise.
So may such a person be shaken out and emptied!”
At this the whole assembly said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised.
Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year – twelve years – neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor.
But the earlier governors – those preceding me – placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine.
Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.
Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land.
Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations.
Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds.
In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.
Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.
Nehemiah Prayed During More Hostility to the Rebuilding: Chapter 6:9-15
- They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home.
He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you – by night they are coming to kill you.”
But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!”
I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me.
So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
The People of Israel Prayed & Admitted Their Wrongs: Chapter 9:1-38
- On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads.
Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.
They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.
Standing on the stairs of the Levites were Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Kenani. They cried out with loud voices to the Lord their God.
And the Levites – Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah – said: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.”
“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.
You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.
You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.
“You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham.
You found his heart faithful to You, and You made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites.
You have kept Your promise because You are righteous.
“You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; You heard their cry at the Red Sea.
You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for You knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them.
You made a name for Yourself, which remains to this day.
You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but You hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters.
By day You led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.
“You came down on Mount Sinai; You spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good.
You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses.
In their hunger You gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst You brought them water from the rock;
You told them to go in and take possession of the land You had sworn with uplifted hand to give them.
“But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands.
They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles You performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.
But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore You did not desert them,
even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.
“Because of Your great compassion You did not abandon them in the wilderness.
By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take.
You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and You gave them water for their thirst.
For forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.
“You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers.
They took over the country of Sihon king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan.
You made their children as numerous as the stars in the sky, and You brought them into the land that You told their parents to enter and possess.
Their children went in and took possession of the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites, who lived in the land;
You gave the Canaanites into their hands, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with them as they pleased.
They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance.
They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in Your great goodness.
“But they were disobedient and rebelled against You; they turned their backs on Your law.
They killed Your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to You; they committed awful blasphemies.
So You delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to You.
From heaven You heard them, and in Your great compassion You gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.
“But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in Your sight. Then You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them.
And when they cried out to You again, You heard from heaven, and in Your compassion You delivered them time after time.
“You warned them in order to turn them back to Your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed Your commands.
They sinned against Your ordinances, of which You said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’
Stubbornly they turned their backs on You, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.
For many years You were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through Your prophets.
Yet they paid no attention, so You gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.
But in Your great mercy You did not put an end to them or abandon them, for You are a gracious and merciful God.
“Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps His covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes –
the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all Your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.
In all that has happened to us, You have remained righteous; You have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly.
Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow Your law; they did not pay attention to Your commands or the statutes You warned them to keep.
Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying Your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land You gave them, they did not serve You or turn from their evil ways.
“But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces.
Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings You have placed over us.
They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.
The People Make an Agreement
“In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”
Nehemiah Prayed While Making Improvements: Chapter 13:1-31
- On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God,
because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.)
When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.
Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah,
and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain,
new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.
But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king.
Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem.
Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God.
I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room.
I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.
I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and musicians responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields.
So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.
All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms.
I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zakkur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because they were considered trustworthy.
They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites.
Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.
In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads.
And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day.
People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah.
I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day?
Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over.
I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.
Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.
But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath.
Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to Your great love.
Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab.
Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah.
I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said:
“You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.
Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him.
He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.
Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?”
One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me.
Remember them, my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.
So I purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign, and assigned them duties, each to his own task.
I also made provision for contributions of wood at designated times, and for the firstfruits.
Remember me with favor, my God.
When Nehemiah heard about the poor state that his homeland (Jerusalem) was in, he prayed. Instead of complaining or saying that it was someone else’s job, he was willing to take charge of the project.
The city walls were not only a defense, they also symbolized the formation of the Israelites as a people. During the rebuilding, the people faced great opposition.
Ezra encouraged the people by saying, “After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Because Nehemiah was obedient to God, the Israelites returned to their homeland, rebuilt their city wall in just 52 days (this was quite a feat!!), & repented of their sins.
When we make sure that we are lined up with God’s will, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished!
Nehemiah Prayed to God: List of Nehemiah’s Prayers
Are you faced with a task that seems impossible? With God’s help, you can certainly succeed!!!
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a question or comment at the bottom of the page.
Thank you, and it is my prayer that you have a very blessed day! ❤
To read about why it was important to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, click here: GotQuestions.org.
You may also be interested in:
David Prayed to God: List of David’s Prayers
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Below is a video that summarizes the book of Nehemiah. Enjoy!