Issues such as these affect us all sooner than later; the proper resolution to “tackling tough tasks” starts in the same place: prayer. Sometimes we try to solve difficult situations without consulting our best resource—God Himself!
Nehemiah learned of the distress of his people and the deplorable conditions in which they lived in Jerusalem. His first response to the news was quite emotional—he “wept and mourned” (1:4). But the next few words would strengthen and enable him to move forward and address the situation: he “fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (1:4). Later, after viewing the broken-down walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah encounters heavy opposition, mocking, and ridicule from his enemies, namely Sanballat and Tobiah (4:1). Nehemiah’s response once again is prayer to God (4:4-5).
As the opposition intensifies, Nehemiah now gathers his people to enter into prayer together: “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God” (4:9). He then outlines a thorough, simple plan for his people that addresses personal protection, family unity, a safe working environment, and words of encouragement—“remember the Lord” (4:14).
Before he forges ahead with his plan, Nehemiah prefaces his actions with prayer to God! Do you find yourself working in reverse sometimes? Does your prayer come after your plans are well underway rather than before, not allowing God to do His part first? Simply put, let us be Nehemiah-minded—prayer first, actions second. Allow God to do His work first through our prayers, and then do all we can in our power to tackle these tough tasks!