A Blueprint for Rebuilding
Nehemiah 1:1-4 NLT
1 These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
– Nothing moves God’s heart like prayer.
– Prayer involves grief, repentance, and realignment.
– Prayer is the preamble to action.
– Before you attempt to rebuild, pray.
Nehemiah 2:4-7 NLT
4 The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”
With a prayer to the God of heaven, 5 I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.”
6 The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.
7 I also said to the king, “If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah.
– Prayer moves the King’s heart.
– Faithful service earns the King’s trust.
– Faith-filled requests grant us the King’s assistance.
Nehemiah 4:6-9 NLT
6 At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.
7 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. 8 They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. 9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.
Nehemiah 4:15-17 NLT
15 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. 16 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.
– Opposition is confirmation that you are in the center of God’s will.
– When faced with opposition, the people of God do not quit. We build and battle!
COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING OUTLINE
Where your faith intersects with real life!
Each person shares a recent high and low from their life.
Use the following questions to explore what God may be saying to you through this message.
Big Idea: Putting the pieces of a broken life back together again.
Choose one or two questions for your group to discuss as time allows.
▶ What is most people’s response when they hear disturbing news? Read Nehemiah 1:1-4. What was Nehemiah’s response when he heard the bad news?
▶ Read Nehemiah 2:4-7. What shifts if we choose to approach things we have concerns about as a mission to work toward?
▶ Read Nehemiah 2:15-17. How would it change things if we truly saw opposition as a sign we were on the right track?
Spend a moment in silence to consider your response, then share your decision with the group.
What is an area of your life, or our world, that God is prompting you to use these tools and form a Blueprint for Rebuilding? What is your next step?
Thank God for the highs shared and lift up the lows.
Ask God to forgive us for complaining or judging when we hear distressing news, and to help us instead to pray and be a part of the rebuilding process.