I am grateful that God moves our hearts to pray not only through Scripture, but other things that we may be experiencing. It may be a word or phrase, a song, an experience, a memory, an article or a news report, a loss, or anything really.
Lately, the song, “Nehemiah” by Jon Egan has been in my heart and guiding my prayers. I have prayed from it personally, with my church, and with other leaders in our community as we pray for the cities in our region together. It has moved my heart and held my attention for several weeks now, so much that I went back and read the book of Nehemiah again!
One of the things that I admire and respect the most about Nehemiah is his heart for his hometown and the people that had lived there after surviving captivity. He heard of the condition of the city walls being broken down and the city gates being burned with fire, leaving the people vulnerable to the attacks of their enemies and in disgrace. His heart was broken. He mourned and wept, fasted and prayed, confessed and repented, and sought the favor of God to be able to return and help them. But why? The first and second verses and chorus of this song answers that question:
I stand on this wall and I hear my good Father’s will
Through an ocean of voices I hold, I’ll stay and I’ll build
Ruins and rubble will be a great mighty wall
No matter the cost, I refuse to leave when You’ve called
I will stand strong knowing my Father is for me,
Knowing my Father has called me
I’m not coming off this wall
What resolve and determination Nehemiah shows us and how committed he is to focus on what his responses were to be to Father! He was focused and purposeful in his inspections and saw the reality of what was, and the potential in what could be. He depended on and trusted God because he knew God’s voice and purpose. In the third verse, we hear a little bit about the things that he endured as he continued to move forward:
Open my eyes to behold all is not dead
When everything shakes I will cling to Your promise instead
The enemy comes like a thief to steal and destroy
But I know a strength that will come in freedom and joy
Many things happened in Nehemiah’s resolve to rebuild the walls and his devotion in prayer as a response to his enemies. Here are a few of them:
-favor with the King of Persia that he served
-received letters to pass through provinces between Susa and Jerusalem safely
-a letter to the keeper of the forest for timber to rebuild Jerusalem’s gates and the wall
-inspected the city walls and gates at night unharmed
-rallied the people in Jerusalem to rebuild
-testified to them of God’s favor
-God frustrated the plans of the enemies that mocked, threatened, conspired against, and caused disturbances to stop the work of rebuilding
-Internal strife was resolved
Nehemiah did not abandon God in any measure to accomplish the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem for the protection of the people and for respect to be restored to the city. Rather, he depended prayerfully on God, worked tirelessly, led the people sacrificially, and finished the work in fifty two days! He restored Godly order and worship to the city!
It amazes me how much people can do if they believe and trust God and work together for the common good of all! Imagine what we could do together if we depend on God and the impact for good we can have on our communities if we learn and apply the same determination that Nehemiah shows us! I encourage you to read this book and ask God to show what He wants you to see! Bless you as you listen and may God guide your heart in prayer!
Give a listen:
Jon Egan - Nehemiah Stand Strong (Live) -
https://www.youtube.com › watch