Picture yourself approaching your boss and letting him know you need to go away on an assignment from God! You don't know exactly how long you need to be gone and you would like him to finance the trip! By the way, your boss is not just a CEO of a corporation, he is the top CEO of the country! He is the King! Besides that, your job is to keep the King safe and happy, for you are the cupbearer.
That's exactly what happened to Nehemiah in chapter one in the book named after him. It was in the month of Kislev (the month we are now in on God's calendar), that Nehemiah got bad news.
Now picture yourself receiving news of "your people" over a thousand miles away being under attack! How can you help them? You feel helpless, yet moved with compassion.
Nehemiah heard the remnant of Jews that were left in Jerusalem were in great affliction and reproach. The Hebrew word for affliction used here is "Ra" which means "evil". It can also be translated "calamity, grief, harm, hurt, hurtful, misery, trouble, sorrow and wickedness," He heard that the walls of the city were broken down and the gates were burned with fire. Destruction had taken place and they had no defense!
Nehemiah was in Persia (Iran) when he got the news for he was one of those who were captured and now was serving the King in Shushan. The palace was 1400 miles away from Jerusalem. Nehemiah did not harden his heart feeling nothing could be done, but let his heart be moved with what moves God's heart!
When he heard what his people were going through he sat down and wept and mourned "certain days". This was consecrated prayer that according to chapter two was a period of four months. He fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven, then God gave him the opportunity to talk with King Artaxerx.
This same principle works in our world today! I praise God that President Trump recently was bold enough to announced agreement with Israel, declaring formally that their capital is Jerusalem. It has brought much upheaval not just from "Persia" but the other Muslim countries surrounding them. We too need to be moved as Nehemiah was to what
matters to God. Just because we are thousands of miles away, we need to pray for the Shalom of Jerusalem. Shalom does not just mean "peace" but it also can be translated "wholeness", (not split or divided)! No wonder the Lord said for us to pray for that! Please commit with me to connect with God's heart in prayer over Israel and the remnant that is there. If God will establish the borders of the widow (Pro 15:25) ...then let's awaken believing Israeli widows to establish their borders in prayer! Pray for Anna's Gate twelve harpists that are on the land interceding with worship to invite God's Holy presence and His strategies for this time!
Now let's take it closer to home. This is a month also to seek God for our families and households. Are you facing a situation that seems hopeless? Do the walls of your family's defense seem broken down also? God has answers we need! Set time aside to fast and pray. Let your heart be moved as God's heart is moved and expect an answer!
Ahhh, we are going to ...tap into the Kingdom of God. We are setting aside our own prejudices and political feelings and choosing to agree with Heaven. We are refusing to agree with hopelessness and the lie that it will never change. Instead we choose to believe the God of the impossible and cry out for His intervention! Nehemiah did, and we can too. There is special grace this month to do so! (
flows from Nov 19th-Dec 18th, 2017).