In our Sept. 29 study of Nehemiah 2, we continued our look at the prayer and leadership model that Nehemiah provides us. Specific applications and challenges that Bert provided us: Recognizing why we're afraid when we step out for God is the first step in committing that fear to God. As close as Nehemiah was to God and trusting in His promises, we see in Nehemiah 2:2 he was still afraid when it came time to talk to the king. Yet he didn't let that fear stop him from acting.
In-depth prayer allows us to cultivate a strong relationship with God. We find Nehemiah in prayer 11 times through the book. Sometimes long prayers, sometimes quick prayers. There are advanced prayers that prepared him for opportunities God would provide. The answers Nehemiah provides to the king in Nehemiah 2:3-8 is the return on his prayer investment with God.
Don't be reluctant to ask people to help. Nehemiah didn't go off on his own. He knew he needed to ensure his safe travels; permission to make the journey and build the wall; and that there would be the necessary supplies. He asks all of this of the king. Contrast with Ezra 8:22.
Plan the work, put resources in place and motivate others—then take action. Nehemiah didn't rush into building the wall. He was in Jerusalem for three days before taking his first action, which was surveying the damage. Likely praying about how to build the wall and motivate the people, it was four months before work started.
When you do great things for God, expect opposition. As soon as work began, Nehemiah and the people were faced with opposition from all sides of Jerusalem: Sanballat to the north, Tobiah to the east and Geshem to the south. Yet, Nehemiah stayed firm in his faith.
This week challenge from Bert: Arise and Build
- Be a part of the men's ministry and help build it up.
- Pray for the ministry, the lessons, the church, the other men.
- Bring another man to the Bible study to help spread God's word.