God Calls Us to Pray
Jesus said that we would have trouble in this world (John 16:33), so it should be no surprise that when we take a stand for the Lord, life often gets tough.
Walls around our churches, our families, and our culture help to keep Satan's influence at bay. Where there are good, strong walls reflecting the Truth of God's Word, the Devil can no longer run free — so he will stop at nothing to keep the walls in pieces.
Satan uses two main tactics to get us to give up our God-given work: discouragement and distraction. Those are the methods he used against Nehemiah and his men when they were busy rebuilding the walls around the city of Jerusalem.
Read Nehemiah 4. Israel's enemies began to mock the Jewish people. They "plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it" (4:8). Even though the construction project was going better than many thought possible, the people of Judah began to believe the task was too great. They started to give up, which is precisely what Satan hoped might happen.
Too often today, when we are faced with distraction and discouragement, we think the solution is to ignore it or to pretend it isn't real. Instead, we are to do what Nehemiah did: pray. Nehemiah looked to the Lord to bring focus and encouragement. He asked the Lord for strength, knowing that the answer to Satan's attacks is a mighty defense that comes from the hand of God.
In that strength, Nehemiah armed the people. He stationed the men (4:13). He had workers building with one hand while holding their weapon with the other (4:17).
Nehemiah also challenged the people to "remember the Lord, who is great and awesome" (4:14). When we consider that God is on our side, suddenly our enemies do not look so tough. Their messages, meant to bring us despair, fizzle in the light of God's power.
Prayer is essential if we are ever to see our struggles the way God sees them. Fight your battles, but don't fight them in your own strength. There are walls that need rebuilding, but the task will be too great if you go it alone. Look to the Lord for focus and encouragement, and don't let the Enemy have the victory.
Prayer: God, I ask for Your strength today to fight the battles before me. Keep me from giving in to distraction and discouragement and help me to remember that You are stronger than any obstacle. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes" (Nehemiah 4:14).
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