And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted…
I. The SORROW of prayer (ver. 4). Prayer was designed to be a glad communion with God; but sin has embittered it. Now it is often suffused with tears; but it will soon rejoice in God. Hannah's prayerful sorrow soon became her prophetic song. The sorrows of prayer are more joyous than the rejoicings of sin.
II. The IMPORTUNITY of prayer (ver. 5). Nehemiah besought God to hear his prayer; his whole being was engaged in his devotion. Sorrow makes men earnest; things spiritual must be earnestly sought.
III. The THEOLOGY Of prayer. True prayer has a right conception of the Divine character; it will see in God -
1. The Divine.
2. The exalted.
3. The faithful.
4. The powerful.
All true prayer is based on a right conception of the Deity; the more we know of God, the more true and acceptable will our worship become.
IV. The DURATION of prayer (ver. 6). Nehemiah prayed day and night. We must pray without ceasing. "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me" (Genesis 32:26).
V. The CONFESSIONS Of prayer (vers. 6, 7).
VI. The SUPPLICATION of prayer. Prayer generally has some specific request to urge.
1. The Divine promise (vers. 8, 9).
2. The Divine mercy.
3. The Divine aid in the past. - E.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,