"He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.." (Neh. 8:3)
Reading: Nehemiah Chapter 8.
Pray for a revival of the Word of God to be read and expounded in our nation.
Repent on behalf of the Church in our nation, where we have fallen away from the giving the Word and replaced the plumb line of scripture with a bent stick.
Ask for the grace to humble yourself under the authority of scripture.
Pray for each other as we cross the halfway mark in our two-week period of mourning, fasting, and prayer. That we would not lose heart but stay the course.
Pray for the churches in our city that we might be spiritually recalibrated in this season.
Reflection on Nehemiah.
There can be no spiritual revival without a revival of the Word of God. If the compass needle is the Holy Spirit in a person that always points to Jesus, then the Word of God is the pin around which, it pivots. The Word and the Spirit simply do not exist in separation from each other.
The public reading of scripture and expounding the meaning to the people was an important first step in recalibrating the spiritual compass. When the people heard the Word and began to understand it, they started to mourn and weep as the Holy Spirit went to work on their hearts. This was a godly sorrow that came over them.
The writer to the Hebrews says, "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." (Heb. 4:12)
A two-edged sword cuts in both directions. So it is with the Word of God. The people hearing the Law would have heard the covenant contract between God and the people; How God rescued them with a mighty hand and set them up to be a blessing to the nations as the lovingkindness of God was upon them. But also, how they had turned their hearts away from God and their stubborn rebellion had resulted in their current situation.
The effect of godly sorrow turned their hearts back to obedience to the Word. Their spiritual compass was being recalibrated. Their conscience was being healed and re-trained. The fear of the Lord leading them to restoration and blessing.
The Word of God is also like water to the thirsty bringing refreshing and joy. Without it, there can be no flourishing life. As hard as the Word might be sometimes, it always brings life to those that hear and obey it. That is a reason to celebrate.
Without a revival of the Word of God, there can be no spiritual revival.