Every great vision has a problem to be solved.
Nehemiah 1:1-3, NIV 2011The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kisleva in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,b 2 Hanani,c one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnantd that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 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.e”
Every great vision begins with prayer:
Nehemiah 1:4-11, NIV 2011 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.f For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God,h who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. 8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ 10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.
Prayer of “confession”
Prayer of persistence
Prayer of preparation
Every great vision believes certain things:
A great work requires a great God.
Nehemiah 2:1-5, NIV 2011 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, 2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
It requires constant prayer.
It requires some rational fear.
It requires chutzpah!
Michael Youseff “Our king is the King of heaven. He has all the resources of the universe at his disposal. When we go to him with bold and audacious requests, daring to ask him to do the impossible and to lavish his resources upon us, we actually glorify, honor, and please him. If we pray halfheartedly and timidly, if we dare to ask only for a few crumbs of his grace, we do not honor God, we insult him. It’s as if we are saying, “God, I know your power is limited. I know your resources are finite. I don’t want to ask too much of you, because I know your blessings are very tightly budgeted. But if you could spare me just half a blessing, I’d really appreciate it.”
Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV 2011 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
Every great vision has its supporters and its opponents
Nehemiah 2:17-18, NIV 2011 17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on mer and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.
Nehemiah 2:19-20, NIV 2011 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us.u “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”