Nehemiah’s Prayer for the People
1The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
It happened in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year, that I myself was in the citadel in Susa, 2and one of my brothers, Hanani, came with some men from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had escaped the captivity and about Jerusalem. 3They replied to me, “The survivors in the province who have survived the captivity are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned in the fire.”
4When I heard these words, I sat and wept and mourned for days, and I was fasting and praying before the God of the heavens. 5I said, “O Yahweh God of the heavens, the great and awesome one who keeps the covenant and loyal love for the ones who love him and for those who keep his commands. 6Please, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I am praying before you by day and by night for your servants, the Israelites,#Literally “sons/children of Israel” and confessing the sins of the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” that we have sinned against you. I and my father’s house have sinned. 7We have certainly offended you and have not kept the commands, regulations, and judgments that you have commanded your servant Moses. 8Please, remember the word that you have commanded to your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you act unfaithfully I will scatter you all among the nations. 9But if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, even though all of your outcasts are at the furthest parts of heaven, I will gather them and bring them to the place which I have chosen to make my name dwell.’ 10They are your servants and your people whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11O Lord, please let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight to revere in your name. Please, let your servant be successful this day and give him compassion before this man.”
I was cupbearer for the king.