Written by Caroline Garner
It starts with passion. What are you passionate about? What burden has God placed on your heart? Have you ever wondered why?
Nehemiah had a burden for his people, for the broken city of Jerusalem. He wept. He cared with a passion. He had a vision of what could be and his first step was important. He didn’t race to Jerusalem and try to go at it alone. He didn’t start mapping out a plan to find the solution. He didn’t take the burden to people. He knew where the burden came from and he took the burden to the only one who knew it fully and had power to see it through. Nehemiah went to the Lord and prayed.
Read Nehemiah 1:4-11
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah’s prayer represents how we should pray, how Jesus taught us to pray.
- Reverence – Nehemiah gave God the glory God deserves. He acknowledged God’s sovereignty and power, his might and his greatness. When we realize how big God is, we are able to have the right perspective. Nothing is greater than him. No burden is too great for him to bear. No opposition is too big to stop his plan. No person is crafty enough to outsmart him. Our trials, burdens, oppositions, and tasks become small compared to God.
- Repentance – Nehemiah confessed the sins of his people, AND didn’t exclude himself. He came in humility before God and recognized power lies in God alone. He made sure he was right with God and his heart was in the right place before he moved forward.
- Promises – Nehemiah prayed God’s promises. We can’t pray God’s promises if we don’t know them. And we can’t know them unless we’re reading them in his Word. God knows his promises, but praying them back to God was Nehemiah’s way of remembering those promises and building strength and confidence on them.
- Petition – Nehemiah took what was on his heart to God and asked for his provisions in carrying out God’s call.
Nehemiah knew his power was in prayer. He guarded the promises God gave him. He nurtured and fed the vision God gave him out of his burden.
Think about what you are passionate about and how God is burdening your heart in a way that needs you and your passion to take action. Our burden at The Way 2 Serve is for the community, sharing the love of Christ in practical ways, building relationships, and serving together as one. My Jerusalem has been built out of that burden and the vision God has given us. Be in prayer over the leaders, the volunteers, the homeowners, and the relationships as we Serve Together. Your prayers are powerful and part of the mission. Let’s REBUILD!
Today be in prayer over our site leaders and coordinators.