When Nehemiah came to Jerusalem and saw the crumbled walls, he set out to rebuild the fallen. He described this desire as what “my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem” (Neh. 2:12). He challenged the people saying, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision” (Neh. 2:17).
Nehemiah did not just move them with the threat of danger. Instead, he moved them forward with the proclamation of God’s glory and providence. Nehemiah told them of the hand of his God that had been upon him for good (Neh. 2:18). When they saw that God had blessed Nehemiah, they could see how God would bless them. The threat of danger is a good motivator, but the promise of success pulls us over the finish line.
I want to challenge you to read through the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and the book of Acts. All three books are about building. God builds his people through his people. Ezra and Nehemiah worked to rebuild the temple as “the good hand of God was upon them.” In the book of Acts we see God building his church through Christ’s disciples.
One of the mainstays of all three books is prayer. These prayers are filled with faith in God, confession of sin, and recognition that the builder of all things is God (Heb. 3:4). Charles Spurgeon said the one word which would define Christianity would be “prayer”. Is there something missing in our ministry? Could it be that we do not reap a greater harvest from our sowing of the Gospel seed because we do not do so in prayer?
“Pray without ceasing”–1 Thessalonians 5:17
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, bot to will and to work for his good pleasure”–Philippians 2:12-13.