The study of Nehemiah...a beautiful reminder of the power of intercessory prayer. The prayer of one; just one person...and how that prayer changed the lives of so many. Much like the prayer of Moses for the Israelites. Both men prayed for the forgiveness of their people, themselves included. I find it beautiful and awe inspiring how God heard the prayer of these men and forgave the lives of many.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (NIV)
Nehemiah, greatly moved by the conditions of his people, a group of individuals he didn't know, but he was yet a member of the family. He was so moved by word of their trouble and disgrace that he was moved to pray day and night...for four months! How often do I see a need, within my family, my community, my daily life that for moments my heart melts and feels empathy? Yet, ultimately that's where it stops. I might even pray a brief prayer and move on. Yet, have I earnestly and fervently prayed when those nudges fall into my path?
Are we, as Christians, a group of those who move and act on behalf of our Savior? I know that I'm falling short of this call. Yet, Nehemiah has reminded me to be a person of action.