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Pray by Day
Bite-sized reflections from Pray by Day

Author: Dan Keating, a member of the Servants of the Word, an international, ecumenical brotherhood of men living single for the Lord.

After he went back to Jerusalem and inspected its walls, Nehemiah said to his people: “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (Nehemiah 2:17-18)

We need ‘strength’ to do the work of God. And that strength has to come from outside of us. Ultimately, our strength comes from God.

Nehemiah was grieved when he heard the news of Jerusalem’s ruin. He was stirred in his spirit and placed himself before the living God in fervent prayer for his city and his people. And the Lord God ‘strengthened’ him and put a desire in his heart to rebuild the city.

In turn, Nehemiah ‘strengthens’ the people to take on the good work. His words provide courage—and the people are empowered to rebuild with Nehemiah. As they embrace the work, they ‘strengthen their own hands’ by giving themselves over to the work of the Lord.

We too need to be ‘strengthened’ for building up the city of God today. We need strength from outside of ourselves—strength from God, but also the strength that comes from each other as we speak God’s word, as we act in faith. There is a great work of rebuilding ahead of us. How can we receive strength from God for this great task? And how can we strengthen each other by believing and acting on God’s word?



Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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