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.
Responding to the Bad News
The people of God are in a bad way. Perhaps you get bad news—someone’s marriage is breaking up; someone had an accident and is in the hospital; someone is desperately sick; someone has been deployed to a dangerous spot; someone has lost his job; someone has gotten mad at God—there is a lot of bad news in the world! Nehemiah went directly to God in prayer. We too, should take all our bad news to God in prayer.
There’s no reason to pray if our prayer is not going to get answered. It is a waste of our time. God does hear and answer prayer, but there is a certain kind of prayer that gets His attention. When the bad news affects us in a powerful way, we may find a need to earnestly pray, and expect an answer. Here are some verses to consider:
James 5:16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
First, you must know that your overpowering desire is to personally be right with God. Before you pray that things get right with someone else, you must pray that things are right with yourself. A fervent prayer of such a person will accomplish much.
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
When our heart is broken over a situation, and we fervently pray about it, God will find a way to answer our prayer. Jesus comes close to a broken heart. Our broken heart will not be despised, but will be treasured by our wonderful Savior.