- Rebuilding Ruins
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Dai Hankey writes, “When God gives you a burden it doesn’t go away. Like a stone in your shoe, it’s always there (in a good way!).”
It is possible that the burden God gives you might require immediate action. However, most often God puts a burden on your heart a long time before decisive action is necessary. The reason he does that is to give you a chance to get prepared for action when the time is right.
Nehemiah had such a burden for Jerusalem’s ruined walls and its suffering people that he could not rest until he did something about it. So how did Nehemiah respond? Did he hop on the next caravan headed to Jerusalem?
No, Nehemiah prayed. He went to God with his burden. As a result, God opened the door for Nehemiah to approach the king about the burden on his heart.
Not only was the door opened for Nehemiah to approach the king; the king also granted Nehemiah’s requests. The reason, as Nehemiah puts it, was “because the gracious hand of my God was on me.” (Nehemiah 2:8) God’s hand on Nehemiah was a direct result of prayer.
God will give you a burden for someone, some situation, or some cause. When he does, inaction is not an option. Certainly, the burden should cause you to weep. However, nothing is going to really happen until you pray.
Praying before you act has two important benefits. First, it relieves your anxiety of knowing the right time and the right actions. Prayer leaves those things in God’s hands.
Secondly, it produces confidence. Not only is God in the timing, He is in the action and outcome as well. The confidence comes from knowing that when God says it’s time to act, He has all the other details under control as well.
Prayer is the first major step in dealing with the burden God puts on your heart. Don’t proceed without it.