And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
Nehemiah has heard of the ruin of Jerusalem since being exiled, and that information has a very real impact on all levels for him. He responds to this by crying, mourning, fasting, and praying before the Lord. Through this process, Nehemiah confesses the sins of Israel on both a corporate level and a personal one. Confession of sins is vital for an authentic relationship with God. When we recognize that we have sinned, we must realize that the right thing to do is confess that wrongdoing before the Lord and ask/receive forgiveness. Nehemiah does this through prayer and fasting and the Lord grants him favor to be able to rebuild Jerusalem.
Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.