09/24/18 Bookends

READING: Nehemiah 11-13, Psalm 126

“Remember me, my God, with favor.”

Nehemiah 13:31

Nehemiah began his work in prayer (Neh. 1:4), grieving over the condition of the fallen holy city. He prayed to God before he asked the king’s assistance (Neh. 2:5). He prayed spontaneously whenever petition and intercession were in order. He worked hard and challenged the people to work hard, asking God to remember his “deeds of faithful love” (Neh. 13:14, 22). In the end, he knew he still needed God’s blessing on him: “Remember me, my God, with favor” (Neh. 13:31). 

Thus, the book begins in prayer and ends in prayer, and it includes prayer in between. Nehemiah is remembered for building a wall, but it might be best to remember him as a man of prayer whom God used to build a wall. Were God ever to use me to build something significant, I pray I would not be remembered for the structure; I would be remembered for seeking God’s help and direction. The only way that would happen is if I learn to pray before I start something, pray while I’m doing it, and pray again when it’s finished. 

I want the bookends of Nehemiah’s story to be the bookends of my life, too. 

ACTION STEPS:

  • Begin and end all your activities in prayer today. Deliberately pray all day long. 
  • As Nehemiah did, ask God to look on you with compassion according to the abundance of His faithful love.

PRAYER: “God, remember me. Help me to do Your work well.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Psalm 106, John 1:4-14