READ : Nehemiah 1:1-11
Nehemiah was a cupbearer in Persia’s royal court during the Babylonian exile. He was grieved by the disgraceful state of his fellow Jews and Jerusalem: “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (v. 4). Nehemiah’s godliness is exemplary he fasted and prayed for days!
Observe how Nehemiah’s prayer illustrates the helpful “ACTS” model for praying:
Adoration – “Great and awesome God” (v.5)
Confession – “We have acted very wickedly” (v.7)
Thanksgiving – “Redeemed by your…hand” (v.10)
Supplication – “Give your servant success” (v.11)
Consider using this model for your prayers today. Among your supplications, intercede for Iran’s Persian and Mazanderani peoples, the Hazara (of Afghanistan and Iran), and the Tajik (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Iran). All are Muslim peoples.
Iran is the same country (Persia) in which Nehemiah prayed to the Lord centuries ago. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, many Persians have become much more spiritually open to the gospel. Facing persecution, many Iranian pastors and Christian leaders have died for their faith. But through the witness of local believers and missionary radio, the Good News continues to spread.
Lord, protect and inspire Your persecuted church. May the blood of the martyrs be the seed for Your triumphant Church. Amen.