Clarify Specific Brokenness in City
Nehemiah questioned Hanani and other men about the Jewish remnant and Jerusalem. They reported that the people had great trouble and disgrace with Jerusalem's wall broken and gates burned with fire. For many days, Nehemiah wept, mourned, fasted and prayed to the great and awesome God who kept His covenant of love with those who loved and obeyed His commands. He asked for God's attentiveness to hear his continuous prayer for Israel. He confessed his own, father's house and Israel's sin in not obeying God's commands. Moses said their unfaithfulness scattered them among the nations, but obedience caused a regathering to Jerusalem, the dwelling He chose for His name. God redeemed His servants by great strength. Nehemiah as cupbearer asked God for success and favor before the king as people who revered His name prayed (Neh. 1:1-11). Clarify the specific brokenness in the city, confess sins and pray with those who reverence God.
Communicate a Plan to Decision Makers
With fear, Nehemiah told King Artaxerxes that his face was sad because Jerusalem lied in ruins and its gates destroyed by fire. After the king asked what he wanted, Nehemiah prayed and said if he found favor, send him to Jerusalem where his fathers were buried so he could rebuild it. He set a time when the king asked about the journey's length and date of his return. Nehemiah requested letters to the Trans-Euphrates governors and Asaph for safe journey and obtaining timber to make beams for the gates by the temple, city wall and residence while living in Jerusalem. Because of God's gracious hand, the king granted his request and sent army officials and cavalry with Nehemiah. Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite were disturbed that someone promoted the Israelites' welfare (Neh. 2:1-10). Communicate a plan to decision makers and allow God provide resources for its implementation.
Share Problem, Solution and Benefits so People Work Together
For three days, Nehemiah and a few men examined Jerusalem's broken walls and destroyed gates around the Valley Gate, Fountain Gate and King's Pool. He told no one, including those who would be doing the work. He said that because Jerusalem lied in ruins and its gates burned with fire, let everyone rebuild Jerusalem's wall to end their disgrace. He told about God's working and what the king said to him. After began the good work after saying, "Let us start rebuilding." Sanballat and Tobiah mocked and ridiculed them, asked what they were doing and whether they were rebelling against the king. Nehemiah said the God of heaven would give success in their rebuilding and they had no share in Jerusalem (Neh. 2:11-20). Research and briefly share the problem, solution and benefits so people work together.
Involve Whole Church in Rebuilding the City
Eliashib the high priest and fellow priests rebuilt, dedicated and set the doors for the Sheep Gate along with the Tower of the Hundred and Hananel. Two others build adjoining sections. The sons of Hassenaah rebuilt the Fish Gate, laid its beams and put doors, bolts and bars in place with four others repairing adjoining sections. Joiada and others repaired the Jeshanah Gate and adjoining sections. Hanun and residents of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate along with 500 yards of the wall as far as the Dung Gate. Malkijah, ruler of Beth Haccerem, repaired and rebuilt the Dung Gate. Shallun, ruler of Mizpah, repaired and rebuild the Fountain Gate. He repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam. Nehemiah, ruler of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite David's tombs. Next to him, Levites and others made repairs for their district and adjoining sections. Priests and others, including goldsmiths, made repairs next to their houses (Neh. 3:1-32). Involve the whole church in rebuilding the city according to their vested interests.
Meet Greatest Needs Through Prayer and Work
Sanballat and Tobiah questioned whether the Jews could rebuild Jerusalem. After Nehemiah prayed that God reverse their insults, the people heartily and rebuild the wall to half its height. In response to the enemies' anger, they prayed and posted a guard day and night. Nehemiah stationed families with their swords, spears and bows behind the lowest points of the wall. He encouraged them to not fear, but remember the great and awesome Lord who fought for their wives and homes. Half of the men did the work and the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The builders wore their swords while working and sleeping. Nehemiah sounded his trumpet when needs arose since the work was extensive and spread out with people separated from each other. Every man and his helper served as guards by night and workmen by day (Neh. 4:1-23). Meet the greatest needs in the city with half praying full-time and other half working as they pray.
Break Cycle of Poverty By Changing Attitudes and Habits
The poor cried out to their Jewish brothers over slavery because their fields belonged to others. In a large meeting, Nehemiah accused the nobles and officials of exacting usury by selling their brothers after they were bought from the Gentiles. When Nehemiah made the officials accountable, the poor received back their possessions. The whole assembly praised the Lord. Nehemiah and his brothers did not eat the food allotted to the governor or acquire any land. Instead, they devoted themselves to the work on the wall. Officials, 150 Jews and others from surrounding nations ate at Nehemiah's table (Neh. 5:1-19). Break the cycle of poverty by changing peoples' attitudes and habits so they are free to develop careers.
Research areas of need and pray to determine what God wants you to do.