Sunday rest and reflection–prayer
Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, our coming king and eternal savior! “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24) It is a choice to rejoice in the Lord each and every day! Each day is a new day with new understanding of how great our God is! As we begin another week, set aside time to reflect on God Himself. Take time to commune with Him! Take time to be with others of like-precious faith who gather to worship, study, and thank Him in community! We especially need this as we see the day of the Lord approaching! (Hebrews 10:25)
We have been reading this past week about Ezra and Nehemiah, two great men in the history of Israel who relied on God and lived lives of prayer and obedience. Ezra offered praise and thanks to the Lord for granting him favor to rebuild the temple. (Ezra 7:27-28) Ezra prayed for traveling mercies for his party with all the gold and silver articles for the temple. (Ezra 8:21-23) After God brought them safely to Jerusalem, they met with others and offered sacrifices and thanked the Lord. Ezra heard about the unfaithfulness of those who had married outside of the faith and he again humbled himself to pray and fast and confess the sins of his countrymen. (Ezra 9:5l-15) Others gathered with him and they sought the Lord. God brought repentance and cleansing as they prayed together.
Nehemiah carried a burden for Jerusalem and it’s broken walls. He began to pray to the Lord about his burden. (Nehemiah 1:5-11) He had opportunity to speak with the Persian king, Artaxeres, and prayed again. (Nehemiah 2:4) God granted him favor and he was sent by this pagan king to rebuild the walls. He was given materials and money as well as willing workers. As he arrived, God gave him a vision and plan to put the people to work by families, assigning them personal responsibility near their own homes. He shared his vision and God granted favor! Prayer was offered to combat discouragement and stop opposing forces. (Nehemiah 4:4-5) Nehemiah armed the workers and encouraged them to work and fight for their own children, homes and families! (Nehemiah 4:14) He had a trumpeter near him at all times to sound a call to fight (or pray) when an attack might come. (Nehemiah 4:20) Prayer was important for Nehemiah and those who worked together to rebuild the walls. It brought a focus on God as the source of all help and a vision of God’s plan and purpose!
Take time today to praise the Lord, thank him for who He is, and enjoy sweet communion with Him. Do this for yourself and for your family! Meet with God’s people and pray and praise Him in community! He is coming soon!