Rebuilding with Prayer

Rebuilding is hard and this applies to a dilapidated structure or someone’s life. It requires materials for a structure or a phase in life-if we are fixing a roof then we probably need shingles; if we are repairing some part of our life, we might need a new job. Assessing the problem and gathering the right materials is the easy part. The difficult part is figuring out our motivation and having the proper attitude to do the job. We can find the answers to these hard parts when we pray as Nehemiah did to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Rebuilding With Action

Nehemiah’s statement, “The God of heaven will give us success,” shows us he understood his mission to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem was not dependent on himself but rather ultimately on God. It is easy to have goals and objectives. It is much more difficult to be disciplined enough to follow necessary plans to achieve those goals. God will give us the knowledge and the action steps we need if we listen to Him and work within His ways and His timing. God will guide us, protect us and nudge us. We must follow His plans.

Rebuilding Amidst Opposition

What happens when we face opposition and obstacles during a rebuilding process? Do we give up on our dream or work even harder or turn to God for help? Nehemiah prayerfully prepared for rebuilding by asking God for wisdom and guidance. He scheduled the project by counting the cost and assembling the right people to help him. He knew with certainty God had put it in his heart to rebuild the wall and had provided the resources. He was not going to let any obstacles deter him from achieving his goal. Instead, he used them as fuel to keep fighting.

Rebuilding while Rebuilding

As Nehemiah and his men were rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, people around him were suffering. They couldn’t pay their taxes or grow enough grain to feed their families. Nehemiah responded by speaking with the nobles and officials, imploring them to stop burdening the people with unnecessary and unfair taxes. God is at work all the time and everywhere in our lives and our communities. We need God’s community to help us grow, teach us, pray with us and provide us with rich and challenging lives. It is a privilege to live life together as the people of God.

Rebuilding with Truth

Ever had your heart broken? Your reputation destroyed? Your spirit shattered because of negative thoughts or terrible events in your life that you can’t stop thinking about? Nehemiah turned to Ezra, a teacher of the Law, to speak truth to the hearts of his people. Have you gone to God’s Word to heal your heart, your spirit or to restore lost or destroyed parts of your life? Would Psalm 147:3 NIV, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” help to do that? If you search the Scriptures for more of God’s Word, you’ll find more healing, restorative words.

Rebuilding through Promises

By starting the rebuilding process, we are admitting that something has been damaged or destroyed. But that doesn’t mean we have given adequate attention to the cause of the damage and our role in it. Without this step, we are prone to repeat destructive behaviors. That’s a frustrating cycle that needs to be broken. Before rebuilding, remember. Reflect on the mistakes that created the need to rebuild in the first place. Own those mistakes and ask God to change the things that need to be changed. That’s a better plan for a better future.

Rebuilding through Worship

At some point rebuilding is complete; the work is done. Nehemiah and his people worked tirelessly and completed their rebuilding, but they were not done. The stones had been placed, the gates were repaired and the walls stood again. Their work was more than masonry and stones and walls and gates. Rebuilding, whether it involves walls or our lives, is not done until the work is acknowledged. For Nehemiah, acknowledgement came in the form of a dedication and worship. This dedication with open and public worship connected the people to the work and ultimately to their God.

Rebuilding One Day at a Time

Nehemiah went back to Babylon after completing the wall and bringing people together to worship and praise God. In his absence the Israelites forgot God’s standards that he promoted. We are often guilty of that, too. We lose our focus and allow sinful behavior to creep back into our lives. Dr. Leo Marvin told his patient Bob in “What About Bob” to practice baby steps—“that means to set small reasonable goals for yourself. One day at a time, one tiny step at a time, accomplishable goals.” Living with that attitude daily can keep us living as God desires.