Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 4, Day 2

Tuesday: Nehemiah’s Prayer
Text: 4 Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! 5 Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.” (Nehemiah 3:4-5, NLT)

Is it just me, or does this seem like a pretty harsh prayer?

We’re not used to praying like this. We’re used to being more politically correct, nice, and benevolent.

WP Neh devo 4-2 impecatory

It might be helpful for us to realize that the type of prayer we have here is similar to the imprecatory psalms. These psalms vigorously call for the judgment of the enemies of God.

Nehemiah’s major concern is the honor and glory of God and the vindication of his people.

You can find other examples of this type of prayer in Psalms 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, 140.

When I consider the vigorous nature of Nehemiah’s prayers, I wonder how intense my prayers are towards those who dishonor God and wound his people.

PRAYER: O God, move me and motivate me to deeper concern and prayer. Amen.

Grace and Mercy

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18, ESV)


He asks no less of us than he would do for us.

PRAYER: God, I want to live like you. Teach me to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly after you. Amen.

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