Whether you get your news from your local news channel or from scrolling through Facebook, it’s safe to say that we are aware of different tragedies happening all over the world, but when we see these articles and stories, do we merely scroll past it or change the channel? Do we leave a sad face or share it with our friends? Or are we prompted to pray and serve God?
When Nehemiah heard of Jerusalem’s broken walls and burned gates, he could only imagine what destruction struck his home, but he also imagined a city to rebuild, with strong walls so that God’s people can dwell in it with no fear of the enemy. Nehemiah prayed continually and unceasingly, he fasted, and most importantly, he trusted God with this task.
Often, when we are faced with devastating news, our first response is anger or frustration, but our first response should always be prayer. John Bunyan, the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, wisely stated that you can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed. Prayer reminds us that God is good and that He is sovereign over any circumstance, and Nehemiah knew this. Before anything else, Nehemiah prayed a beautiful prayer in Ne. 1:4-7 (NLT)
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said,
“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
Nehemiah wanted God to move in his life so that he could make a difference, and he started it off with repentance. We can’t expect God to fill us with His almighty wisdom and knowledge and we can’t expect Him to allow us to go off and fulfill His will when we can’t even let go of our own sin. If you’re an ambitious follower of Christ, I guarantee that in this life you will experience and encounter different things that will pull and tug at your heart and you will want to make a difference in this broken world. But even before asking God to move in the world, we have to surrender our own brokenness to Him.
The world is really a broken place, and we certainly cannot avoid the horrible things that happen, even if we turn off our phones and TVs, but we can always do something about it. Through prayer and trusting in God to move in our lives, we can live out His Great Commission so that no matter what chaos strikes the world, we know that God’s power is so much greater.
So now, when you look at the world, will you only see its brokenness and despair or will you surrender your life and trust God to move in you to make a change?
— Chelsea Mendoza
This study on Nehemiah is brought to you by RightNow Media. If you haven’t registered yet, email email@example.com on how you can get a free account today! You’re also invited to join Word International Ministries, Ontario’s Sunday services as we kick off our new series Beyond the Wall – Living a life of impact beyond our comfort zone – A study on the book of Nehemiah.