The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Reflection. What news sends us to our knees in prayer? Do we mourn and fast at terrible news? Today's reading has made me think about the difficult times we are facing in the UK. Do we need a time of national mourning and prayer and fasting?
If you read on in Nehemiah as far as the end of chapter two you will see a further response. Nehemiah repents and promises service to God. He then tells the news to the King...
Prayer. O Lord hear our prayer. Lord hear us. Lord graciously hear. In Jesus's name. Amen.