Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will ARISE and BUILD, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”
Nehemiah 2:20 (ESV )
One of the best leadership examples I have ever studied comes from the book of Nehemiah. In these passages, we see a great example of what it looks like to persevere in a season of challenges. Each time the community leaders in Nehemiah tried to rebuild the temple, they faced opposition. At times, they fell into discouragement, frustration, and fear. But, they had one powerful tool that helped them prosper…prayer.
Why does prayer become an afterthought for us when trouble arises? We may grumble, complain, or stew in whatever emotions feel good in the moment. We know we should stop to pray but instead, we relinquish the most powerful strengthening tool we have to combat our struggles. We grow weary and give into frustration as if the God of heaven hasn’t seen the mess before us. Oh, but sisters! To prosper, we have to “ARISE and BUILD!”
In this passage, the word “arise” means, “to abide, accomplish, confirm, or continue.” As we embark on 2018, we recognize that we need to depend wholeheartedly on the Lord for our stamina. We need to abide in Him. We need to continue in Him. But, how will we do it?
Nehemiah is our model biblical example. He led boldly in prayer and received vision, action, and wisdom by following the Lord. These are all gifts that came as a direct result of his prayer life. Nehemiah knew that he was limited in his own abilities, but he trusted that they could accomplish what God was calling them to do if they truly followed God’s direction. Nehemiah boldly believed that God would provide the vision.
The leadership qualities in Nehemiah were direct fruits of a prayer of faith before a Father in whom he fully trusted.
Nehemiah prayed and received vision for accomplishing the Lord’s work, but he also knew that required action on his part. He knew what he heard from God, but he also needed the king’s support to enter the territory. With this awareness, Nehemiah had the forethought to request paperwork in advance that would give him the right to access the land and would show proof of his call to action. Nehemiah made the plans. He prepared for the battle ahead. He desired to carry out the call of God on his life and in his leadership. Nehemiah went forth boldly with action. (Chapter 2:7-9)
God also gave Nehemiah the wisdom he needed when things went wrong along the way. When a new group stepped forward to mock them or destroy the work they were accomplishing, Nehemiah called for prayer. When enemies became enraged and threatened his life, Nehemiah called for prayer. Each time, God opened the path for them to receive the supplies and continue the work while they stood firm in the wisdom God provided! (Chapters 4 and 6)
This group of people in the Bible never gave up praying! They didn’t naturally have what they needed to accomplish what God was asking of them, but they went boldly before God and asked Him to provide it! They believed that they would become heirs of city that belonged to a God who called them to accomplish great things in His name. The same is true for us this year. In His faithfulness, God is calling us to accomplish the great works that He has prepared in advance for us to do. (Just read the prayer in Chapter 9!)
Find Him. Ask Him. Go boldly. Pray powerfully. ARISE and BUILD what God has already planned for you in 2018.
Jesus, this is our prayer for 2018:
You are Our King. We are Your privileged daughters. We see Your power, Your might, and Your invitation to prayer. You are from everlasting to everlasting! May we decrease and You increase as we step forward into our faith. May we grow in maturity, boldness, wisdom, trust, desire, and action in our prayers today. May we call upon Your Name and seek Your face and humble ourselves and pray. May we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you each day. Let it be so! Amen!
Seeking Him boldly,
Women’s Ministry Director
Burke Community Church