Nehemiah 9:1-37 – Confession – A key element of prayer – David Hill

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Theme sentence: God’s people rehearse God’s goodness – highlight their sin – and cry out for mercy.

Aim sentence: As we rehearse God’s phenomenal goodness to us, this should lead us to confess our many sins and come to God for mercy.

God is good to Israel

In this model prayer, God’s people rehearse their history and highlight how phenomenally good God is.

Israel’s sin

Interlaced in this story of God’s goodness is the awful story of their own sin and rebellion against their good God.

Israel keep using God’s goodness to rebel against Him.

God’s abundant mercy

And yet the merciful chorus is repeated highlighting God’s grace and compassion towards His rebellious people.

The pattern then

God’s people highlight this pattern in their prayer, because, like in days gone by, they are in great distress as a result of their sin. They are crying out to God to be merciful yet again.

The pattern now

There is much that we can and should learn from this pattern of prayer. We, too, need to rehearse God’s phenomenal goodness to us – we have even more to rejoice in than they did because of Jesus.

This should lead us to confess our many, daily, sins to God and come to Him again as our merciful, loving Father in heaven.


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