Nehemiah 1: 1-4 It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan[a] the [b]citadel, 2 that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”
4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
Seventy years before this point in history Jerusalem had been destroyed. This was old news, but when God laid it upon his heart Nehemiah prayed and fasted in faith. It probably didn’t completely make sense at the time. He was mourning for what had become simply a historical fact. But God made it way upon him and caused him to mourn for it.
He had an important job as the kings wine taster. One night as Nehemiah was serving the king 2 Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.”
So I became [b]dreadfully afraid, 3 and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?”
4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?”
So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Nehemiah 2:2-6
God heard his prayers and answered him. Nehemiah was allowed to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls. Moreover the king sent him with letters that allowed him to get the necessary supplies and wavers to pass through certain countries. Nehemiah went on to face many trials but finished his work. Things often seem unimportant after say seventy years, but God will lay things on your heart for a reason and you need to obey him.
Our world commits many sins every day, and has so from the beginning of time. We murder millions of babies everyday. We smile at gay mirage. A lot of mirages end up in a divorce. There is a lack of respect in most men. There is a lack of propriety in most woman. There is a lack of respect in western cultures. There are many things I could add to the list, but I feel that these are among the most important. These things gradually appear less and less important. They have been around for a long time, and the realization of what is actually going on has been dulled by movies, the news, books, the internet, and whatever else holds our attention. Maybe God is trying to get our attention by the current sickness going around. Maybe he wants us to start thinking about him and not our frivolous selves.
We need to start praying. Prayer is so important. We can do nothing of our own power. The church needs to wake up and stop ignoring the problems around us. Seriously we should start asking God about what we can do to turn things around, not by hate or derision, but by love. The church needs to unite. Do you think that in heaven we will have Methodists, Baptists, Calvinists, Democrats, Republicans… No we are brothers and sisters in Christ. The buildings we go to on Sundays are not “the church”. The people inside are the church. It’s time to ignore our differences and start praying and fasting as a body. We need repentance, and change. We need to start dreaming again, not confining God by our weak expectations. But pray earnestly, not as if you think he won’t answer. He can do whatever he wants. Lets pray for his will together.
God we know we are messed up and ignore things we shouldn’t. We ask you to help us set aside the things that make us mad at one another. We all love you, so we ask you to help us obey your command to love one another. Help us make a stand. Lay things on our hearts and help us dream again.