They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9
There are fourteen recorded prayers in the book of Nehemiah. From the very moment, Hanani and some other men told Nehemiah that the wall of Jerusalem was torn down, he began to pray. Indeed, Nehemiah was persistent in prayer. He prayed before he approached the king. Then throughout the building project, he remained fervent in prayer.
The challenge for most Christians is to remain persistent in prayer. Most of us lose our prayer-focus when our answer is delayed. Often, after we receive the long-awaited answer, we stop praying to preserve our blessing because we do not think it is necessary.
Though God answered Nehemiah's initial prayer as the king gave him the necessary supplies he needed to rebuild the wall, he needed to remain persistent in prayer because he faced adversity throughout the rebuilding project. However, because Nehemiah was a man of prayer, he was able to overcome all adversity and finish the rebuilding project in fifty-two days.
When the enemies of Nehemiah plotted to kill him, Nehemiah prayed. When the people who were rebuilding the wall became tired and discouraged, Nehemiah prayed. When Tobiah and Sanballat ridiculed the rebuilding project, Nehemiah prayed.
In today's text, Nehemiah's enemies tried to frighten him so he can stop the rebuilding project. They accused him of plotting to become king. Then, they tried to get him to desecrate the temple so he can become a religious pariah. However, Nehemiah remained persistent in prayer.
If you are at a point of frustration in your career, or your marriage, or your finances, or your ministry, you have to pray. It is one thing to pray for a job; it is even more urgent to continue to pray after we start that job. Otherwise, we will become frustrated and start to pray for God to give us another job.
Many marriages fall apart because the partners do not persist in prayer for each other and the marriage. They assume that love is enough to get them through tough times. Romantic love can only go but so far when trials arise. However, prayer will always get us through tough times.
Is your prayer life up to the challenge of a crisis-situation? Because Nehemiah was a man of prayer, he stayed focus on his God-given vision and completed the rebuilding of the wall, notwithstanding the challenges he faced. Nehemiah prayed short prayers and long prayers. He prayed about his enemies over and over again.
Do you feel that your prayers are repetitious and not very effective? I have to admit; there are times when I feel like I am just repeating myself in prayer as I continue to make the same petition for weeks or months. But then I remember what Jesus says in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8).
Our spiritual enemy is a thief and a destroyer. He lurks in the shadows to catch us off-guard to he can steal our blessings. He knows he cannot stop God from blessing us. However, he is determined to rob us of our blessings. The only way to stop him is by persisting in prayer.
So pray until you get your blessing. Then pray to keep your blessing. After that, you have to pray so you can enjoy the blessing, so it doesn't appear to become a burden.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, help us to remain persistent in prayer so we can remain steadfast in our trials and not allow our enemies to frighten us.