The Lost Son
And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great
and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them
that love him and observe his commandments.
Read Nehemiah 1:5-11
In the parable of the lost son, the younger son became hungry in a foreign
land. We read that he came to himself, and said, I will arise and go to my father,
and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before
thee. That’s how prayer often begins, with a sense of need. When Nehemiah
saw the situation in Jerusalem, and his own weakness, he might have
despaired. But the Lord kept him from that for He provided His servant a
place at the throne of grace. The Psalmist wrote the following words in this
connection: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from
him (Ps. 62:5).
The manner in which Nehemiah addressed God in his prayer is remarkable.
He began with the words: I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven. By these
words he revealed his weakness and insufficiency; so he called upon the
grace of the living God! Does this also characterize your prayers? Using the
term LORD, he appealed to the God of the covenant, to Jehovah, the I am that
I am. In his prayer Nehemiah confessed his sin and guilt and pleaded His
mercy. In his plea he also acknowledged that he was but a servant.
Furthermore, Nehemiah’s prayer was also an incessant one. It is true that
true prayer is not dependent on many well-chosen, beautiful words but
upon heartfelt confession. Relentlessly, by day and by night, God’s prophet
called upon the name of the Lord. During daylight hours as well as the darkness
of the night he made his requests known unto God on behalf of His
Thought: Does incessant prayer refer to the length or intensity of prayer?
Psalter 161: 1,5,8 (based on Psalm 62)
My soul in silence waits for God, My Saviour He has proved;
He only is my rock and tower; I never shall be moved.
On Him, ye people, evermore Rely with confidence;
Before Him pour ye out your heart, For God is our defense.
For God has spoken o’er and o’er, And unto me has shown,
That saving power and lasting strength Belong to Him alone