If you are in the US, today is Memorial Day. You may be starting your day a little slower than usual. You may have time to do a little bit of reading.
The other day I looked at the prayer Nehemiah describes in Nehemiah 1. I’ve read it before. This time, I decided to see what other prayers it resembles.
It starts almost exactly the same way as Daniel’s prayer about one hundred years before. It resonates with Solomon’s prayer when he dedicated the temple four hundred years before that. It refers to a sermon Moses preached four hundred years before that, his last lecture to the people of Israel.
Nehemiah is praying on the painful side of disobedience. The side of being warned that the dam might break and you’ve been warned that you need to stop jumping up and down on the bed and you’ve driven eighty-five past the same officer in the forty-five zone for a dozen or more warning tickets. Daniel was also on that side of the disobedience. Moses and Solomon were part of the warning process. For centuries, the same observation.
Both Nehemiah and Daniel focus less on the punishment side of their predecessors’ prayers than they do on the promises. They are repenting, they are pointing out that Moses and Solomon said, “When you come to your senses, God will bring you back.”
I could say more, but I’m going to wait. Instead, I’m going to let you read and reflect.
What are the commonalities you see in this thousand years of prayer?