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Nehemiah 1

Nehemiah finds himself in a tough spot. He has a prestigious job working for the ruler of an empire. In many ways, his life is great. Then he receives some devastating news. His hometown—Jerusalem—is in shambles and vulnerable. The city’s walls (it’s safety, security and dignity) are destroyed and the neighbors are plundering the people. He is powerfully moved by reports of the destruction, desolation, and discouragement.

While Nehemiah’s position afforded him access to the king, his first response is not to run to the king for a favor. Take a moment and read Nehemiah 1. In this passage we see Nehemiah cry out to God. His first call is to God.

God uses Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem. Everyone has had to build sometime, is rebuilding right now, or will someday have to rebuild. Just like Nehemiah, we should start our time of rebuilding with prayer. In his prayer, we see that Nehemiah repents, accepting his share of the blame (even though he wasn’t there) for the need to rebuild. He is asking God to remember him and the people, but not presumptuously demanding.

As you open your week and look again at your “rebuilding” project, offer a prayer modeled on Nehemiah’s prayer in chapter 1. Pray a prayer of repentance, a cry for help, a cry for restoration. Invite God into the situation, not in a demanding way, but in the way one would call out to a loving God.