For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands – Nehemiah 6:9
Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem were enemies of Nehemiah. They continually mocked and ridiculed him in an attempt to discourage him from his God-given task of rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. Sanballat sent a letter to Nehemiah inviting him to a meeting. Nehemiah, understanding their true motive was to harm him, remained steadfast in continuing his work.
After five more attempts with the same results, Sanballat slandered Nehemiah’s character. Nehemiah 6:9 gives us his response: “For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.’ But now, O God, strengthen my hands.”
Fear is a tactic of the evil one to stop God’s people from accomplishing our God-given work. Did you notice how Nehemiah handled the situation? He prayed what I call a “911 prayer”— you know, the ones said in a panic or an emergency. A 911 prayer is when you don’t have time for lengthy eloquence. You need an answer now! So you cry out with a one-sentence prayer—a prayer of desperation.
Nehemiah knew the cost of not finishing his assignment. The wall was a source of protection, a first line of defense for the city. He also knew the spiritual attacks that had been increasing in severity were not going to stop. Nehemiah’s formula to overcome fear was to pray for the Lord to strengthen him to continue the work.
Have you felt like Nehemiah, knowing your job is impossible without the Lord’s protection and strength? You wake up every day to another challenge and obstacle. The enemy’s relentless attacks keep trying to paralyze you. Learn from Nehemiah: pray 911 prayers and keep progressing in the plans and purpose God has for your life.
- Have you ever said a 911 prayer?
- How did God show up?
- When you pray a 911 prayer, should you stop doing what God has asked you to do and wait for the answer, or should you keep working?