The walls and gates of Jerusalem had been torn down for over seventy years. During those seventy years, there were probably hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who thought to themselves or said to a friend, “We need to fix these walls.”
How many times has it been said in our country that, “We need to reach these schools?” Everyone in the church would agree with the statement and might even go so far as to try to do something about it. However, they get busy with all of their other obligations and it becomes just another great idea. Many churches are doing good things, but nobody is organizing them all to share the hope of Christ with every student. Like in Nehemiah’s example, if there is not a person waking up every day to organize the work, it will not happen.
When Nehemiah inquired about the Jewish remnant and the conditions of the city and was told of the situation, he was moved to tears. Nehemiah 1:4, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
The difference between all of the thousands who had seen the condition of the walls and Nehemiah was that Nehemiah was burdened. He was burdened to the point that he spent days fasting and praying to God. If you are burdened, fast and pray.
We tell others who are thinking about starting First Priority in their community to pray, familiarize themselves with First Priority, and with the conditions of their community. If they can’t sleep, then it is a good indication that God is calling them to do something about it! We like to call it the “sleep test.”
The call of God to unite your community and reach students is very important. This is no easy task! If it were easy, someone else would have already done it. There will be very hard times and a lot of frustrating moments, but the call God places on your life is what will keep you keeping on.
First Priority of America