Today, the walls of our culture are leaving our citizens defenseless. The gates of our culture are burnt and destroyed. Yet with all of these broken walls and burned gates, it is a great time in history to be a Bible-believing Christian. We have an amazing opportunity to see the hand of God work more powerfully than ever before.
During a time when very few people recognized the devastation of God's people and the shattering of Israel, Nehemiah saw the broken walls and the burnt gates, and he wept. Rather than giving in to anger, despair, or indifference, we must follow the example of Nehemiah, who prayed and planned for the rebuilding of Israel. So, how did Nehemiah go about God's business?
Prayer is not an excuse to do nothing.
First, he identified the problem. Then, he took the problem to the Lord in prayer. He did not waste his time getting angry. He did not waste his time blaming others. He fully identified with the people's sin that brought about this disaster. He did not pray for "their" sin. Rather, he confessed his own sin.
There are three things to note from Nehemiah's prayer in Nehemiah 1:4-11:
When you pray for something, be prepared to do something. Prayer is not an excuse to do nothing. It does not absolve you from responsibility to act when God leads. Nehemiah's prayer was a call to action—on his own part first.
When Isaiah was privileged to go into the presence of God and heard the question, "Whom shall I send?" he did not say, "Here I am . . . send my sister." He said, "Here I am. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8, emphasis added).
Our response should be the same. May the Lord give each of us the spirit of Isaiah and Nehemiah, and may God bless our cities and nations as we repent and turn to Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the courage to stand for Christ in my home, my workplace, my city, and my nation—even if I'm standing alone. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes" (Nehemiah 4:14).