Restart: Stepping Out in Faith


Nehemiah does not seek counsel from outside sources but goes directly to God in prayer. Here, he pours out his heart, acknowledging God as mighty and sovereign and one who is faithful in upholding the covenants he makes. Like a priest atoning for the sins of the people, Nehemiah begs for mercy as he confesses that all of Israel, including him and his family, has willfully disobeyed God’s commands.

In similar fashion, our own cities lie in ruins. Some of it is structural decay where buildings are burnt out, vandalized and unoccupied. At other times, it is moral and spiritual bankruptcy where godly living, ethics, morality and civility have morphed into everyone doing what is “right” in his or her own eyes. We have moved far away from the tenets upon which the Founding Fathers established our beloved country. Note, Nehemiah says the people sinned by “choosing to disobey” God’s laws. Can you see areas in which the leaders in our cities have chosen to disobey God’s laws? Like Nehemiah, we must unequivocally address our sin and disobedience as we come before God.

What responsibility do you take for the shape the city is in? When was the last time you earnestly prayed for the spiritual health of your city? What steps can you take to address some of its concerns?

Consider confessing your own sins, as Nehemiah did, in light of the spiritual decay in your city. Ask friends to join you at a regular time each week to pray for this particular issue. Pray: Lord God, I acknowledge you as supreme ruler over all. My heart bleeds for all of us in our communities. We, too, have ignored your commands. Forgive us, Lord, as only you can, and put us back on the path of righteousness.