relentless pursuit


The Passage: Nehemiah 1:11

The Point: Prayer leads to action.

I paid $12 to sit in a dark room. Twelve dollars! The movie was dreadful. I’d rather watch two hours of cat videos! I left that theater and told my friend, “That acting was terrible!” But it made me realize something. Here we were paying $12 to sit in a dark room to watch THEM, some of the best actors in the world. If I was that actor, that movie wouldn’t even hit the big screen. Mine would go straight to DVD…in 2018. You see, it’s far easier to be the spectator than it is to be the actor. Being a viewer is easy, but being the viewed? Not so much.

My fear is too many of us have become spectators watching the Kingdom of God like it’s a war movie instead of soldiers actually in one. Nehemiah didn’t see it that way. He went to war to bring God glory through rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, but he didn’t know his orders quite yet. So what did he do? He prayed and fasted. It was through the seeds of prayer and fasting that actions were birthed. We tend to look at prayer as a passive action rather than an active passion. What that does to us is dangerous. We may pray for God to do something, but our prayers might be cries for highways to gospel movement in the future rather than doorways into gospel movement right in front of you. Don’t miss what God wants to do!

Prayer can work like hands in the clay of our burdens, shaping them into something tangible and beautiful. In their God-given shape, our burdens gain the capacity to hold soil for things to grow. Nehemiah had a great burden for God’s people and God’s city for God’s glory, but he needed God’s guidance. We need that same guidance. Our prayers help shape our actions, but please understand that this is not a passive thing! Prayer leads us to action. It calls us to move. When we commune with a God so holy, so powerful, and so loving, we can’t remain spectators.


  • How do we see Nehemiah’s prayer leading him to action?
  • Is there any place in your life where you’ve been a “spectator”? What is it?


  • What is something you can do to move from being a spectator to becoming an initiator?
  • Whom have you given permission to follow up with you about it?
Scroll to Top