Nehemiah was a man of great vision. He attempted great things for God and faced much opposition. His enemies united against him and came together to taunt Israel as they attempted to carry out the vision of rebuilding Jerusalem and its walls.  When his enemies saw the wall was progressing, “they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.” What did Nehemiah do? “…And we prayed to our God…”

In the 13th Chapters in the book of Nehemiah, he is said to have prayed 10 times. The first action he took upon receiving every negative report, or upon facing any opposition, or upon dealing with the organization and leadership of his people was always to pray. He wept, mourned, prayed and fasted often in this book.  Seeking God in prayer was Nehemiah’s primary resource in life. Nehemiah’s great venture, a vision of the city of Jerusalem, of his people living and worshipping God in peace frequently drove him to his knees. The magnitude of his task was beyond him and he sensed a desperate need for God.

I don’t always sense this need, do you?  This may be true because I’m not passionate enough about my mission. Maybe I think I’ve arrived and have no desire to go further. I’m satisfied with the status quo in my life and in my church. Or possibly, my vision for the future is just too small. We don’t need God when our sights are low.

Sir Francis Drake was hailed as the first Englishman to circumnavigate the Earth. He left us with this prayer: Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity; and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.”

“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)