In this episode of Pray the Word on Nehemiah 13:22, David Platt teaches us that our lives should be grounded in God’s steadfast love.
“Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.”
Oh, I love this prayer. Think about what Nehemiah is praying right here. We see multiple times in Nehemiah, him praying that God would remember him, particularly, here in Nehemiah, chapter 13. On a few different occasions, Nehemiah looks to God and says, “Remember me, O my God.” It’s just a picture of a God-ward, God-centered life. Nehemiah’s eyes are fixed on God. He’s living for the pleasure of God, for the glory of God. Nehemiah’s not focused on what other people think about him. He’s focused on who God is, what God says about him, what sees in him. That’s his focus.
Even Nehemiah’s prayer, that he would be remembered, seen, and affirmed by God, is grounded, not ultimately, in his work or his deeds, but in steadfast love of the Lord.
Nehemiah 13:22 Reminds Us of God’s Steadfast Love
But then I love this particular time he prays in verse 22 of Nehemiah 13 when he says, “Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.” Even Nehemiah’s prayer, that he would be remembered by God, and seen by God and affirmed by God is grounded, not ultimately, in his work or his deeds, but in God’s steadfast love, “according to the greatness of your steadfast love.” Nehemiah knows that anything good in him, anything good that he does will be a direct result of God’s goodness toward him, of God’s steadfast love for him, and the same is true in our lives.
God’s Great Grace
I think about Paul in 1 Corinthians, chapter 15. He talks about how by God’s grace, “I am what I am.” Then Paul talks about it, how he worked really hard in his life, but he knew all the work that he did was by God’s grace. It was like Paul wakes up in the morning and says, “God, I can’t do anything apart from your grace today, apart from your steadfast love,” to use language from Nehemiah 13, and then he works by God’s grace and in God’s steadfast love all day long. He gets to the end, looks back at all that he’s done and he says, “God, it was all by your grace.”
Nehemiah 13:22 Leads Us to Ask God for His Help
So, God, help us to live this way, help us to do good, to live lives centered on you, O God, to work hard today for your glory, to give disciplined effort by your grace to all that you have called us to do in our lives and to know at every moment that it’s only possible by your grace. God, we can’t do anything good apart from you. Apart from your spirit in us. Apart from your goodness in us, apart from your grace toward us. We are, in and of ourselves, sinners. Those who have run from you. We deserve to be separated from you forever. To experience your judgment. Now, it’s where we deserve to be right now, and here we are praying to you.
Help Us to Spread the Gospel
God, help us to do good today, knowing that you love us with steadfast love. And you will give us all the grace we need to do all that you’ve called us to do. So, yes, may it be so today. Help us to do good today. To spread the gospel today. To do all that you’ve put on our hearts to do that you entrusted us to do today. Knowing that it’s only possible by your grace and your love for us. And you are generous in giving us all the grace we need. We praise you for the greatness of your steadfast love in our lives. May it lead us to do all kinds of good to your glory. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
View the 2022 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.