Nehemiah Prays to the Lord
1These are the words of Nehemiah. He was the son of Hakaliah.
I was in the fort of Susa. I was there in the 20th year that Artaxerxes was king. It was in the month of Kislev. 2At that time Hanani came from Judah with some other men. He was one of my brothers. I asked him and the other men about the Jews who were left alive in Judah. They had returned from Babylon. I also asked him about Jerusalem.
3He and the men with him said to me, “Some of the people who returned are still alive. They are back in the land of Judah. But they are having a hard time. They are ashamed. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down. Its gates have been burned with fire.”
4When I heard about these things, I sat down and wept. For several days I was very sad. I didn’t eat any food. And I prayed to the God of heaven. 5I said,
“Lord, you are the God of heaven. You are a great and wonderful God. You keep the covenant you made with those who love you and obey your commandments. You show them your love. 6Please pay careful attention to my prayer. See how your people are suffering. Please listen to me. I’m praying to you day and night. I’m praying for the people of Israel. We Israelites have committed sins against you. All of us admit it. I and my family have also sinned against you. 7We’ve done some very evil things. We haven’t obeyed the commands, rules and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8“Remember what you told him. You said, ‘If you people are not faithful, I will scatter you among the nations. 9But if you return to me, I will bring you back. If you obey my commands, I will gather you together again. I will bring you back from the farthest places on earth. I will bring you to the special place where I have chosen to put my Name.’
10“Lord, they are your people. They serve you. You used your great strength and mighty hand to set them free from Egypt. 11Lord, please pay careful attention to my prayer. Listen to the prayers of all of us. We take delight in bringing honor to your name. Give me success today when I bring my request to King Artaxerxes.”
I was the king’s wine taster.
波斯王亚达薛西二十年基斯流月1:1 “基斯流月”即希伯来历的九月，阳历是十一月中旬到十二月中旬。，我在书珊城里。 2从犹大来了我的一个兄弟哈拿尼和一些人，我问他们有关从流亡之地归回的犹太余民和耶路撒冷的情况。 3他们回答说：“那些从流亡之地归回犹大省的人深陷苦难，饱受凌辱。耶路撒冷的城墙已经倒塌，城门也被烧毁。”
5“天上的上帝耶和华啊，你是伟大而可畏的上帝，你向爱你、守你诫命的人守约，施慈爱。 6仆人在你面前昼夜为你的众仆人以色列民祈祷，求你睁眼察看，侧耳倾听。我承认以色列人向你所犯的罪，以及我和我的家族所犯的罪。 7我们行事败坏，没有遵守你赐给你仆人摩西的诫命、律例和典章。 8求你顾念你对你仆人摩西所说的话，‘如果你们不忠，我必把你们驱散到列邦中。 9但如果你们转向我，谨遵我的诫命，即使你们流落天涯，我也必从那里把你们召集到我选为我名所在之地。’ 10我们是你的仆人、你的子民，是你用大能大力救赎的。 11主啊，求你侧耳听你仆人的祷告，垂听那些喜爱敬畏你名的众仆人的祈求，使你仆人今天亨通，在王面前蒙恩。”