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Nehemiah’s Prayer

by R.L. David Jolly

When the early colonists set foot on what was to become the United States, they came in search of a land where they could freely worship the God of the Bible.  They fled the religious persecution that they were under in their homelands.  Our nation was built upon the Christian principles found in the Geneva Bible that they brought with them.

From the Mayflower Compact to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, virtually all of our founding documents were also based upon the Bible.  Our Founding Fathers believed what the Bible said about Creation, Adam and Eve, Adam’s Fall and the Genesis Flood.  Built upon these foundations, America grew to be the world’s richest and most powerful nation in the world.  As long as we kept those foundations, God continued to bless us as a nation.

America today is a land suffering from economic, moral and spiritual decay.  The walls of America’s financial fortress have been crumbling for the past several years and are on the verge of collapsing altogether.  Between the mortgage foreclosures, loss of jobs, failure of banks and businesses, and the out of control spending of the federal government, it is obvious that these walls are in need of immediate and drastic repair.

Likewise, the walls of the moral structure of our nation have not only been crumbling, but they are being deliberately torn down.  Adultery and fornication have become so commonplace and socially acceptable that our public schools support and endorse such behavior by providing condoms and sexual counseling to our children without parental knowledge or approval.  Many couples are now living together without being married and children being born to unwed mothers now account for 40% of all births in the U.S.  Pornography is a multibillion dollar business.  Deviant and perverse sexual behavior are no longer abhorred and in some instances, even protected by laws.  Moral traits such as lying and deception are considered normal in politics and business.

Spiritually, the gates of our once Christian nation are being burned as we are becoming more of a nation of paganism and idolatry, similar to Babylon and ancient Rome.  When America was established, some states wrote in their constitutions that anyone serving in public office must profess a faith in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Since 1947, our courts have ruled that you can no longer have any vestige of Christianity in our government or public lives, while at the same time the President of the United States publicly recognizes pagan holidays such as Diwali, Kwanzaa and Ramadan.  Our public schools are teaching our children that you cannot believe the Bible because evolution proves it is wrong. 

As a result, our nation is under God’s judgment for our wicked ways.  That judgment is clearly spelled out in Romans 1:18-32:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Three times we see that because of His people’s ungodliness and unrighteousness, God turned them over to their sinful ways.  This is NOT a reward for such behavior, but a punishment that will only lead to their destruction as a nation and as a people. 

Most of our leaders believe that they can legislate and spend America back to its once great status.  Yet history repeatedly teaches us that the only way to stop God’s judgment and once again obtain His blessings is to repent as a nation and to turn from our evil ways.

When Nehemiah heard about the cruel treatment of the Jews in exile and how the walls of Jerusalem had fallen and the gates had been burned, he didn’t try to pass new laws and bankrupt his nation.  Instead, he wept and mourned for days.  Then he fasted and raised the following prayer to God:

 “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Nehemiah 1:5-11

After Nehemiah and the nation prayed and repented, God allowed him to rebuild the walls and repair the gates of Jerusalem. 

All through history we see examples of how God punishes a nation when it turns away from His commandments, statutes and rules.  Likewise we see that when that nation repents and turns from its wicked ways and follows God’s laws that He blesses them and allows them to rebuild their greatness. 

America’s future doesn’t rest upon massive legislative changes, but upon our repentance and return to the biblical foundations that our Founding Fathers established this nation upon.  And whether you realize it or not, those foundations start with the very first verse in the Bible: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Suggested Resources:

15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History

A Theological Interpretation of American History