When Nehemiah learns about the deteriorating condition of those living in Jerusalem, he immediately goes to prayer. In my case, prayer is usually a much later step in my affairs. I will get angry, find someone to blame, try to do something and then I’ll get a hold of myself and finally look to God. Nehemiah begins by looking to God.


In 2010, I’m resolving to pray before I act. One of the huge benefits of prayer is that it makes me stop and think. I can’t act or even re-act until I’m done talking with God about it. Prayer is how I can wait and reflect before reacting or over reacting. Prayer will help me understand my problem better and bring clarity to the issues. Prayer will calm my emotions as I entrust my daily life and problems into God’s care. I cannot pray and worry at the same time. Lucado says “knees don’t knock when we kneel on them.” Prayer also recruits God’s involvement into all my daily problems. It brings to bear an inexhaustible resource to all my life problems and daily concerns. Prayer is a clear demonstration of my faith in God’s daily presence and interest in the activities of my life.  Like Nehemiah, I want to look to God first, then act.

Nehemiah then took action by requesting leave of the King to go and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. After having prayed and reflected on the issue, Nehemiah knew what he needed for the task, and God opened to door for it all to come true. The King blessed him with all the resources he needed and Nehemiah explains why it went so well. He said, ” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.”

“May the good hand of Our God” be on you in 2010.


“Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near…Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)