Pray When Afraid

Nehemiah 2


Wherefore the king said unto me, Why [is] thy countenance sad, seeing thou [art] not sick? this [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,


Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
When you're very sore afraid, pray to the Lord, the God of heaven.


Pray Day and Night

Nehemiah 1


Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
(I added the emphasis.)

It's good to pray often, and when we just got up in the morning, and before we go to bed at night. How can we stay awake and pay attention? Here's 1 way.

As soon as it's time to pray, write down 5 names of people you'll pray for. Then, go back and write down 1 simple thing to pray about for each of them. Pray the thing for each person, in order. If you think of something else before you finish, save the thought and don't think about it until you finish the list.


Be Zealous to Repent

Ezra 10


And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, [one] of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
People of Israel had sinned. Shechaniah said, "we have trespassed". Sometimes we do things that are wrong... or we don't do something that we know is right. That's sin, and our sin is the worst, most miserable thing there is.

Why did Shechaniah say, "...yet now there is hope..."?


Arise; for [this] matter [belongeth] unto thee: we also [will be] with thee: be of good courage, and do [it].

We can repent.

Don't say, "I've sinned. There's no hope. I'll just have to keep sinning." Duh. Jesus is very merciful and forgiving. We know we can change our minds and turn around to go the right way.

"...be of good courage, and do [it]."


Humble Prayer

Ezra 9


And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over [our] head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
When Ezra prayed, he said that the Lord was righteous, and he confessed their sin. When we pray, we should be humble in front of the Lord.


Seek of Him a Right Way

Ezra 8


So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
I'm not fasting right now while I'm writing this, but fasting with prayer is a good way to seek the Lord.

When we're in danger, and when we're ashamed, we should pray. We can entreat the Lord.


Let It Be Diligently Done

Ezra 7


Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
We should do whatever God commands, diligently. He is the God of heaven. We should get it done.

We should work like that for His house. God's house is His people, and we should diligently do what He teaches us to do for them. We should prepare for and participate in the meetings when we meet together as His house.


The Lord Made Them Joyful

Ezra 6


And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy:
for the LORD had made them joyful,
and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them,
to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God,
the God of Israel.
The Lord helps us with our work for Him. He can just take a person and make him joyful. Don't we need the Lord to do this for us?

The Lord changes hearts of people in places like the government. The Lord turns people's hearts to us. He makes our hands strong to do the work.

Pray about these things. Praise the Lord.


this work goes on diligently

Ezra 5


Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.
They said, "...this work goeth fast on...". We should serve the Lord diligently, with great care, and with much energy. Our work should go on quickly.


Keep Working

Ezra 4


But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.
I should keep working hard to do what's right, even when there are challenges to stop me.


Work and Sing

Ezra 3


They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.
Please pray for my work. This talks about masons, and I've working on building an interlocking block retaining wall. I should keep working faithfully.


And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because [he is] good, for his mercy [endureth] for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
I should keep singing hymns.


Don't be Polluted

Ezra 2


These sought their register [among] those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
There were some priests that had descended from the wrong kind of ancestors. They had to be kicked out of being priests because they were "polluted".

We miss out on the rewards of righteousness by being polluted. One way to keep from being polluted is to make sure that the thoughts we think are pure.


Build Up Each Other

Ezra 1


Who [is there] among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he [is] the God,) which [is] in Jerusalem.
As Christians, the Lord's people, there's something we should do.

The real house of the Lord today isn't some physical building in the city of Jerusalem. We, His people, are His house.

By preaching the gospel and bringing people to Jesus, preaching the Word, praying, and serving in other ways, we can build up each other, and build the house of the Lord.


Prepare for Meetings

2 Chronicles 35


And prepare [yourselves] by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
The king told the Lord's servants to prepare themselves. We should get ready for when we meet together as the Lord's body.


Respond to the Bible

2 Chronicles 34


Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard [thee] also, saith the LORD.
They had found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses, and read it in front of this king. Obviously, he believed it, and applied it to his own life. How do you respond to reading the Bible? We should respond to it.

Also notice that the Lord heard the king weep. The Lord hears us seeking Him by weeping.

And, lastly, the Lord's Word does have an effect. Look how it changed this king's life when they read it to him. After that, the prophet sent this message (v27,28) back from the Lord to the king. Then the king called all the people together and read it to them. It even had an effect on all the people- they served the Lord, and didn't depart from following the Lord all the days of this king. Wow. The fact that it makes a big difference should encourage us to get the Lord's Word out to other people.


God Was Entreated by Him

2 Chronicles 33


His prayer also, and [how God] was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they [are] written among the sayings of the seers.
This king sinned very badly, like I've sinned very badly. After that, this king humbled himself very much. When he was in trouble, he besought the Lord, and prayed. We should humble ourselves like that.

The Lord has great mercy to be entreated by people who've done very evil things. The Lord hears supplications of humble people who are in trouble. The Lord brought him back out of his trouble.

I should humble myself greatly, and beseech the Lord by praying with supplications. He will be very kind and have great mercy.


They Prayed and Cried to Heaven

2 Chronicles 32


And for this [cause] Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven.
It's good when more than 1 of us prays for the same thing.

When we're in trouble we should pray out loud and cry to the Lord.


Every Work That He Began

2 Chronicles 31


And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did [it] with all his heart, and prospered.
every work... to seek his God
I've been doing many different things, and sometimes it seems too busy.
every work that he began
I should be faithful with what I've started until I finish it.
and prospered
It will all go well.
he did [it] with all his heart
I just need to do the best I can.


The Lord Hearkened

2 Chronicles 30


Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came [up] to his holy dwelling place, [even] unto heaven.
Even if you haven't done everything right, prepare your heart to seek the Lord.

Pray for people with your voice, knowing that the Lord listens and hears!


Don't Be Negligent

See 2 Chronicles 29.


My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
We should serve the Lord the first time we have a chance to do something.

We should get up early in the morning to serve the Lord.

We should be upright in heart to set ourselves apart.

Instead of being negligent, I'll get ready to sing praises.


Don't Sin More

See 2 Chronicles 28.


And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD [already], ye intend to add [more] to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and [there is] fierce wrath against Israel.
When we've already sinned and are in trouble, we still shouldn't sin more.


Prepare Your Ways Before the Lord

See 2 Chronicles 27.


So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.
We should prepare, establish, or order our behavior with the Lord.

I'll pray about a decision I have to make.


Don't Get Mad At Rebuke

See 2 Chronicles 26.


But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to [his] destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
This man stopped seeking the Lord, and instead, he went to do something that was sin. Maybe he even thought that the Lord would honor him for it. It would have been a good thing to do, except it wasn't for him.

Even when we've sought the Lord before, and the Lord has made us prosper, even when we're strong, sin will still lead to destruction.

When people come to point out sin that we're doing, and tell us it's wrong, we shouldn't get mad at them.


Don't Turn Away From Following the Lord

See 2 Chronicles 25.


And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
It's good to start out doing things that are right, but we still need to make sure that we Don't Turn Away From Following the Lord.


Joash Did Right as Long as Jehoiada Was Alive

See 2 Chronicles 24.


And Joash did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
It's easy to do what's right when there's a Jehoiada in our lives. We just follow his example, and, as long as he's around, and being a good example, we do what's right. But what about when that good example isn't around any more?

Joash's problem is that he didn't remember. He disregarded all of the kindness that Jehoiada had done for him (which was a lot,) and became very wicked. Do we remember our Jehoiadas? After they're not around, or after they're not a good example any more, do we forget, and stop doing what's right, but be very wicked, instead?

What we can see from this chapter, is that God is real, and when people changed, He didn't. We should remember to do what's right, even when other people who have been our examples, change.


Sing Praises to the King - 2 Chronicles 23

See 2 Chronicles 23.


And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king:
and all the people of the land rejoiced,
and sounded with trumpets,
also the singers with instruments of musick,
and such as taught to sing praise.
Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.
If an important person visited us, wouldn't we get excited about him?

Isn't Jesus an important person? He's the most important of all. He's the King of all.

We have a King to rejoice about. We should make music for Jesus. We should desire to sing and praise the Lord from our hearts.


Don't Listen to Bad Counsel - 2 Chronicles 22

See 2 Chronicles 22.


Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.
There's safety in a multitude of counselors, but there can also be bad counselors.

We shouldn't listen to people who counsel us to do evil.


Don't Do Evil - 2 Chronicles 21

See 2 Chronicles 21.

From part of v6b:

...he wrought [that which was] evil in the eyes of the LORD.

The king that this chapter tells about, didn't follow the Lord so well.

He has miserable consequences for his sin.

We keep being tempted to do things we've already known are bad things to do. We need to remember that it's just not worth it to do evil.


Neither Know We What to Do - 2 Chronicles 20

See 2 Chronicles 20.


O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes [are] upon thee.
When we don't know what to do, we should seek the Lord.


Don't Help People be Ungodly - 2 Chronicles 19

See 2 Chronicles 19.


And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore [is] wrath upon thee from before the LORD.

Don't disregard the fact that a person hates the Lord, just because you love the person.

We shouldn't make an affinity, and say, "I'm like you, and my people are like yours."

Don't help people be ungodly.

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