Nehemiah was just one man, but he made a colossal difference for his nation when he stepped out in faith to rescue them after seventy years of exile. He felt a great burden in his heart that moved him to seek God through fasting and prayer. He gave up the perks of the palace — as cupbearer to the king — to go and rebuild the broken wall of Jerusalem.

Prayer and fasting are not about trying to force the hand of God. Rather, they help to prepare and soften our heart to hear God’s voice clearly and to see Him act on our behalf. We often do not hear God clearly due to the noise around us. When we block out time to seek His will, we can discern whether the dream on our heart is also the desire of God. It’s a time to remember His faithfulness, as we meditate on and pray through God’s promises. When God begins to open up doors, we will know which direction to walk in.

The completed wall around the city became a sign of God’s goodness in using Nehemiah to bring the people together. The people longed to draw closer to God and asked to hear the Word of God read aloud. With tender and teachable hearts, they moved forward to re-establish the city. Not only did Jerusalem have a brand new wall; it also experienced a spiritual revival.

Think of one particular dream that’s in your heart. Is that dream clear? God will not give us the details of our dream from A-Z. He reveals mysteries in His perfect timing. If you seek Him diligently and draw near to Him, He will guide your path.

Dear Lord, thank you for the dream in my heart. Please help me understand what the next step is. I would like to know what’s in your heart about my dream. Speak to me Lord, and help me to be able to hear you. Strengthen me so I can do what I need to do to go ahead with the next step. Thank you. Amen.

Go deeper — consider fasting for a period of time to seek God’s specific will about a burden that’s been on your heart. Learn more about effective prayer from Campus Crusade for Christ prayer legend, the late John Baerg.

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Photo Credit: Elaine Casap