And when those days come around we have only way to handle them and it is in fasting and prayer. Enter Nehemiah and his diary to show us how.
Nehemiah 1 to 3 “A.C.T.S Prayer”
Nehemiah is a man whose soft heart becomes visible in his reaction to news and in his prayer life. He lived in Babylon serving the king–but his heart was in Jerusalem where his ancestors were buried. He knew the history of the city yet never lived there or even visited there. Had he read the scroll of Ezekiel? Perhaps he read how the false prophets had led the people astray and had not helped to repair the breaches in the wall. But that was then and this is now; 140 yrs. later. The temple is rebuilt but the city remains vulnerable because of these breached walls just as his brother reported to him upon his return from there. What he learned devastated his heart.
When you learn bad news what do you do? Nehemiah did four things: he sat down abruptly, cried and mourned for several days. Then he dried his tears and set about to do just as Paul did; telling God what was on his heart. [Phil 4:6] He praised God and asked that his ear be attentive and his eyes open to hear his prayer. Then he confessed the sins of his people and of himself. Lastly, he asked God to grant his request. This is the “ACTS” picture of prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thankfulness, and Supplication.
Today you may have received news that breaks your heart. Take a page out of Nehemiah’s diary and do as he did; tell God the whole story, step out in faith and watch God work!