“They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.’ When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven.” — Nehemiah 1:3-4
Redemption and Restoration
What breaks your heart? When your favorite team squanders a huge lead and loses a playoff game? How about when you watch the news? When families tragically lose loved ones? When families are destroyed by addiction? Does fatherlessness break your heart? Human trafficking? Knowing that billions of people will spend an eternity separated from God?
Sin always leads to brokenness — a broken relationship with God, others, our world and ourselves. Our world is broken, but the good news is that God invites us to join Him in the work of redemption (Colossians 1:13-14) and restoration (Matthew 6:10). If our hearts have never been broken over our broken world, we can start by praying, “Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
In Nehemiah 1:3, Nehemiah hears that the walls surrounding Jerusalem have been torn down. God’s people are vulnerable to attack. God’s people can’t focus on worship and serving God. Upon hearing this, Nehemiah weeps and mourns for days. God breaks his heart.
What does Nehemiah do? If they had social media back then, he probably wouldn’t have posted anything. Instead, he prays. For four months he prays. He asks God to open up an opportunity for him to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.
As God breaks your heart for what breaks His, pray and ask God to use you to help restore what is broken.
— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain
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