Summary: This is part 2 of a series of sermons focusing on Nehemiah's prayer life as he set about the great task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
Building a City on Prayer - Part 2
Hi Friends, in our last post we shared 4 prayer pointers from the life of Nehemiah (Please see link to part 1 on my Profile Page). They were,
He prayed fervently
He focused on the greatness of the One he was praying to
He prayed for favor
He prayed the promises of God
Today, we will look at 3 more prayer thoughts from Nehemiah. They are,
1) Nehemiah prayed against resistance (Nehemiah 4:4)
The opposition and resistance to God’s work came from a man called Sanballat and his associates (4:1-3). It included threats with military backing, incensed anger, mockery, ridicule and humiliating insults (2:19, 4:1-2, 4:3, 4:7-8, 4:11). Nehemiah’s immediate response was prayer, as seen in 4:4 and 4:9. As he prayed, God always gave Him strategies to negate the ungodly machinations of his opponents and He also frustrated their plans (4:15)! The people therefore were encouraged and the work kept progressing.
We too can be sure that whenever we attempt something great or small for God, or strive to draw closer to Him, the enemy will come against us. He will do whatever he thinks necessary to stifle us. But, he can never defeat us for the Bible says that ‘we are more than conquerors through Jesus! (Romans 8:37). Therefore, let’s ‘Submit to God and resist the devil (through prayer) and he will have to flee from us’ (James 4:7). I once heard a man of God say that ‘Prayer doesn’t just stop the enemy’s plans; it pushes back those plans’!
Illustration – At one point in my life, the Lord led me to coordinate a musical in our church with our church choir. It was actually something beyond my capabilities. No sooner had the rehearsals started, I developed a bad lung condition which required a lot of rest. This was hardly what was needed to go forward with such a production. Trusting God and with me working through whatever physical caution was required, (with much prayer), we got the rehearsals moving. The musical was eventually a success, held on schedule, and touched many lives in 3 different venues.
Praise God, through prayer, we can overcome any resistance!
2) Nehemiah prayed for strength (Nehemiah 6:9)
In chapter 6, Nehemiah’s enemies were scheming to trap and harm him through deception. They attempted to trap him in this manner on 5 different occasions (6:4-5). They were also trying to frighten and weaken his team through political intrigue (6:5-9). Isn’t that how satan comes against us as God’s children? He will make repeated attacks, bringing fear and intimidation, looking for a knock-out punch!
Nehemiah’s response however was twofold: He refused to be distracted or manipulated away from the great work he was doing (6:3) and of course he prayed. He prayed “Now strengthen my hands” (6:9).
In praying for strength, Nehemiah also discovered a great truth that so often encourages us in our own struggles. He proclaimed, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (8:10). He also obviously knew where that joy could be found for the scripture says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).