Nehemiah's Prayer1 [These are] the words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with men from Judah. So I questioned them about the remnant of the Jews who had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 And they told me, “The remnant who survived the exile [are] there in the province, in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem [is] broken down, and its gates [are burned] with fire.” 4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said: “I pray, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of loving devotion with those who love Him and keep His commandments, 6 may Your eyes be open and Your ears be attentive to hear the prayer that I, Your servant, now pray before You day and night for Your servants, the Israelites. I confess the sins we Israelites have committed against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have behaved corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, statutes, and ordinances that You gave Your servant Moses. 8 Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses when You said, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but [if] you return to Me to keep and practice My commandments, then even if your exiles have been banished to the ends of the earth, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for My Name.’ 10 They are Your servants and Your people. You redeemed them by Your great power and mighty hand. 11 O Lord, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to the prayers of Your servants who delight in reverence of Your name. Give Your servant success this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” ( For I was the cupbearer to the king.)
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