- What order should we choose? Our lesson does not recommend an order of elements to include in our work of confessing and repenting before God, but what order do you prefer in your prayers to God for these items: 1) praise 2) repentance 3) celebration 4) confession 5) other..
- Fasting and worship. Instead of a joyful celebration to start the proceedings, what did Nehemiah initiate as the first assignment for the people of God at this time of rejoicing? (Notice the spelling: “feasting” or “fasting”) For “a fourth of a day” the Israelites read from the “book of the law.” Do you think that was for six hours (1/4 of 24) or three hours (1/8 of the 24). What do you think would be the result of setting up prayer and worship time with these dimensions? Why?
- The beginning of the prayer. What is the significance of each of the following dimensions of the opening expressions in this prayer: God as 1. Creator; 2. Preserver; 3. Promise Keeper. How is the concept of God our Creator the same as or different from the concept of the importance of the Sabbath day? Which concept do you and I need to focus on more?
- Lessons from the past. Does it ever occur to you to marvel at the many times the Children of Israel had to re-study and re-learn and then to follow the lessons of God’s leading in their past? Regarding our sins…which is more important: to confess our sins, to repent of our sins, or to forsake our sins? Right now, in your personal walk with the Lord, are you able to devote enough time to obtain victory in each of these areas of Christianity? If not, what can you do?’
- The law and the prophets. Do you find in Nehemiah 9 a story of the blessings and problems of God’s people through the years of their wandering in the wilderness? Aren’t you glad you belong to a church that never wanders? never faces problems? always obeys God? What? Your church does have problems, many of them like those faced by the Israelites? What can you and I do about them?
- Praise and Petition. At the close of the “prayer of confession,” what petition do God’s people raise to Him? Would you describe the condition of God’s people at this time to be one of trouble and tribulation? Why must they suffer? Aren’t you glad that God’s people today have no trials, no overwhelming temptations, no cause for suffering? That’s not how it is? Is God ready to respond to all of our needs? How can we be sure? Or can we?