Nehemiah 1-3, Acts 2:1—21 • Key Verse: Nehemiah 1:11
You can make a career out of writing instructions. People need them for all kinds of
things—assembling, installing, using and replacing. Sometimes we need pictures to go with the
words. To know what to do is good. To be told what to do is good also. But to be shown what to
do can really help!
We can talk about the importance of “having devotions,” but still we wonder how to have them.
The words in Nehemiah 1 provide a picture, a model to follow. It is not the only way but is an
Notice that Nehemiah worshiped as he spoke of the awesomeness of God (v. 5). Thus, our
devotional times should include worship as well as what followed: confession (vv. 6-7).
Nehemiah confessed without offering any excuses. We, likewise, should regularly make sure the
slate is clean before God. Yes, our sins are forgiven when we receive Christ as Savior, but God
desires that we confess those wrongs we do after becoming His children too.
Nehemiah's devotional life also reveals that he knew the Word of God. In verse 8 he cited what
God said to Moses. Do you read the Word regularly, consistently?
Finally, after worship, confession and recalling the Word, Nehemiah presented his request. Too
often our requests can be the entirety of our praying, yet we find many examples in the Bible
where worship, confession and reading the Word preceded the request.
So, how do we “do” devotions? Nehemiah gives us a model to follow.
If you are using this devotional guide regularly, then you are spending time in the Word. That's
great! Keep some paper with this guide and make a prayer list. Include on that list praises and
thanksgivings to God. Remember also to keep the slate clean—confess. And ask, but keep a
balance. Don’t just be an asker. Be a pray-er.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett