This is a devotion that was published at http://christiandevotions.us on November 12, 2012:
“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven…” Nehemiah 1:4
One by one they tumbled out. I wanted to weep. Anxiety, sleeplessness, exhaustion, financial worries, and a serious accident due to being over-medicated. These were the prayer requests of the “good kids.” What about those who don’t know Christ?
At the university where I work, there is a club where Christian students fellowship. My husband and I have come alongside the pastor to support him and his ministry to students there.
One night toward the end of the semester, the students shared the prayer requests above. Then the female student next to me handed me a note asking me to pray for and help her with a serious personal issue that she was too ashamed to share. Her walls were crumbling. My heart was heavy for these students, and, on the way home, I wept. I fasted and prayed and several days later, God gave me a plan to help this student strengthen her walls.
When Nehemiah’s brothers came to see him, Nehemiah cut the small talk and asked about the wall of Jerusalem. Sadly the brothers reported it had large holes, was in rubble, and the gates were burned down. Nehemiah’s first reaction? He sat down and wept. Then he fasted and prayed, asking for God’s favor and wisdom, which was granted.
Jerusalem’s wall was rebuilt in an astounding 52 days. This filled Jerusalem’s enemies with fear and awe because they realized this could only be accomplished with the help of God.
My tears for these students emanated from their current pain and the perseverance that would be needed to rebuild the holes in their walls. Rebuilding and restoration can be long and difficult, but drawing on God’s strength can favorably change that process.
When your wall is crumbling, it’s okay to weep. Then fast and pray for God’s wisdom and forgiveness. Wait for Him to give you your first brick to rebuild your wall. As you obey Him, you will amaze others with your transformation, and you will draw others to Christ, as they will want to know the architect who remodeled and rebuilt your life.