Nehemiah: Prayer Then Action


Many of us, if not most, awake focused each day on taking action.  In fact, I go to sleep already thinking of what I have to get done the next day.  Whether it is household chores, work priorities or something else, we arise with a mission, a purpose or some cause.  Those who consider themselves leaders are sensitive to the fact there are limited hours in the day and we do not intend to waste them.  We make list, write down tasks, plan goals, etc.  We are constantly focused on action.  A large part of this is due to the way we are physiologically wired and another part because this is typically what we are accustomed to be rewarded for doing.  It could be the personal feeling that comes from accomplishing a task – scratching something off our “to-do” list that drives us to action.  Or, it could be the bonus at the end of the year, the potential for reward or recognition in the work place, or that new position we are coveting.

Taking action is a good thing but how do we know what to do?

The Scriptures record the stories of many great leaders.  Many are familiar with the leadership lessons of Jesus and perhaps of his greatest disciple Paul.  But, I was recently blessed by reading the Book of Nehemiah.  Nehemiah was a tremendous leader and certainly would be considered a man of action.  However, Nehemiah had a very deliberate and purposeful step before he would take action.  He prayed.

Prior to developing his vision for the future of Jerusalem, the scripture says Nehemiah wept, prayed and fasted (for days).  Before asking the King’s permission to take a leave of absence and return to Jerusalem, he prayed.  Ahead of determining a plan for rebuilding the walls, Nehemiah prayed.  Out front of responding to his enemies who were attempting to rise in opposition to his great work, again, Nehemiah prayed.  He prayed before he asked Ezra to read the people scripture, before he took census of God’s people and before dividing the people up to serve.

Nehemiah stands uncontested as a man of action.  He accomplished every one of the aforementioned tasks all of which were paramount.  However, Nehemiah did nothing without first asking God’s blessing, favor, protection, guidance, and anything else he was in need of.  I am personally trying to learn this lesson and to get my stubborn feet to travel this proven path.  From changing jobs, addressing people issues at work or simply attempting to guide myself and my family, I recognize my need to pray prior to taking action.  What about you?

Call to Action:

1.)  Consider the most critical decisions  you’ve made in the past six months.  How many did you pray about before taking action?

2.)  Think about the next big thing you have out in front of you and start now by praying about it.

2 responses to “Nehemiah: Prayer Then Action”

  1. David Hayes says:

    Inspiring and insightful. Great article. I appreciate seeing the truth of scripture presented in a business format. The truth is the truth and it always works. In every area of life. Thanks for your candor!