Nehemiah 1 - Determining Root Problems
Introduction: Where have you gone on a vacation or travelled? Was there anything on your vacation that touched your heart or disturbed you?
1. Why was the Jewish Nehemiah in Susa, Persia instead of living in Jerusalem? What kind of temptations and challenges may have faced Nehemiah in the King’s court? What kind of temptations might you face when you travel or are away from a “secure” environment?
2. Do you ask questions about the welfare of brothers and sisters in Christ in other places when someone comes from there? How can we learn about Christians in spiritual or financial trouble or those who are being persecuted?
3. What are the needs of your kinfolk and community in general? Is their condition such that you would be weeping, fasting and praying for those needs? Is God laying on your heart to do something about it?
4. What triggered Nehemiah’s concern?
5. Why were the people in Jerusalem in trouble? (v 3 & v 7)
6. What is the significance in that day that the wall was broken down and the gates burned with fire? We do not have walled cities today. What is the equivalent?
7. Compare the difference between Hanani's and Nehemiah's response. They were both exposed to the same information and Hanani got it first hand but their responses are very different. What might be the reason for the difference? Which are you more like, Hanani or Nehemiah?
8. What do we learn about God in verses 5 and 6?
9. What did Nehemiah recognize to be the real reason why the walls were torn down as reflected in his prayer? (V 7, 8) - These verses show us the heart of Nehemiah and are the key that unlocks the whole book. Nehemiah was a gap man. ( Ez 22:29 - 31 )
10. How do we identify ourselves with our brothers and sisters of the same ethnic or social background, the same church, club or small group?
11. Have you ever prayed an identification prayer? Write out an identification prayer that you could pray on behalf of a group of people that you identify with. According to scripture who should we identify with?
12. Who do you think the “servants who delight in your name” refer to? Are you one of those servants? (V. 11)
13. Who does “this man” refer to in verse 11.
14. Take a couple minutes to analyze Nehemiah’s prayer. What are the parts that make up this prayer. Is there anything that you can learn from this prayer?
15. It is very possible that this recorded prayer was the culmination of seeking God for four months. He asks at the end of the prayer, “Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man” ( v 11). Do we believe that God will answer our prayers right away?
We will see in Chapter 2 how God answered that prayer.
For those wanting a real challenge:
16. Consider starting a prayer diary to keep track of things God prompts you to pray for and the answers to those prayers.
17. Are you aware of any walls that need mending so that the enemy cannot attack those that are under your sphere of influence or are in need of protection in your home or at work? How could you make a difference?
18. God often prompts us in the area of our giftedness. Nehemiah was given the gifts of administration. He used them to motivate and rule the people in a Godly way. What gifts has God given you to use to help others?
19. What needs are there for the men of this church and community? How can you help to meet those needs?
20. Who could you contact to find out about a country or place of concern? Where could you find out about mission work in a place that God has laid on your heart?