July 14, 2013

Prayer-“Overcoming Enemies Distractions”

Passage: Ezra 4:1-24 & Nehemiah 6:1-16

Bible Text: Ezra 4:1-24 & Nehemiah 6:1-16 | Memory Verses
Ezra 5:11 / NLT

“This was their answer: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the Temple that was built here many years ago by a great king of Israel.

 

Nehemiah 6:15-16 / NLT

15 So on October 2, the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.

What does the Text say?

Some of the enemies of the Jews came to them and ask if they could help in rebuilding the Temple, but Zerubbabel saw through their scheme and said they could not help. Then they hired counselors to go to Persia convince King Cyrus, Xerxes, Artaxexres and Darius to halt the rebuilding of the Temple and of the city of Jerusalem. Artaxexres had the building of the Temple stopped because of the history of rebellion of the people of Israel. In the second year of the reign of King Darius, he allowed the rebuilding to continue and the Temple was completed.

During this same time period, Nehemiah was granted permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city. Nehemiah was a Jewish captive in Babylon during the 70 years of exile, and has risen in position to being the cup bearing for the King Artaxexres.  Nehemiah learned from a friend that Jerusalem was still in ruins, after several days of fasting and prayer he approached the king with a plan to allow him to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, and King Artaxexres granted him permission to go and provided for the supplies to rebuild the walls.

He was opposed in his rebuilding of the walls by Sanballat, Tobiah and other Arab. They taunted the Jews who were rebuilding the walls and they tried to distract Nehemiah from his work first by asking him to come and meet with them in a nearby city and when he would not come, they tried to get one of the Jewish leaders who was disloyal, Shemaiah to convince Nehemiah that he was under a death threat and that he should hit in the Temple. Nehemiah would not go hide and he continued to pray and to lead the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The walls were rebuilt in a record 52 days, the Temple was completed and the opposition to the Jews was cast down in their spirits because the work was done and they could see God’s working in it.

How Does This Apply to Me?

In both cases the rebuilding of the Temple and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, the Jews faced opposition, but they would not stop. WHY? In both cases the Jewish people and their leaders knew they were being directed by God and the leaders kept the people’s focus on God and the work and would not be distracted by their enemies, or by the Enemy.

The focus was on God both in prayer and studying His word. They did not pay attention to the distractions but kept PRAYING and doing the will of God, the work they had been called to. They got other people involved in the work and they worked together to encourage each and to stay focused on the task at hand. They could see God working and they wanted to be a part of His work, they all knew what life was like outside of this work, in the past, in their exile, but now they had a vision of something new, of something that could be different

God has plans for our lives and as we surrender more and more of lives to Him, the more of His plans we see and experience Some of God’s plans may be difficult for us to comprehend, may even seem impossible, but as long as we are seeking Him as we push on various doors we will see that He is the power by getting the work accomplished. Getting close to God and knowing His plan starts with our confessions to Him, our surrender to Him and our constant communication with Him to both talk with Him and listen to Him-God is constantly trying to communicate with us and He can use any medium of communication to accomplish this including His Word, other people, other writings, music, and any other form of communication that we use

God is a God of love and a God of Holiness; He wants to work both in us to change us and through us to reach out to other people. It is difficult if not impossible to hear God unless we are living for God
Additional Verses to Consider
Psalm 41:1-4 / 1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.2 The Lord protects and preserves them— they are counted among the blessed in the land— he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. 4 I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;  heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

Psalm 46:10 / 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Matthew 7:7 / 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Psalm 103:8-12 / The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 107:8-9 / Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty  and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 12:1-2 / I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 127:1-2 / Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain .Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.

1 Peter 5:8 / 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

James 4:7-10 / 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Philippians 4:13 / 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:19 / 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 6: 10-12 / 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Memory Verses

Ezra 5:11 / NLT

“This was their answer: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the Temple that was built here many years ago by a great king of Israel.

 

Nehemiah 6:15-16 / NLT

15 So on October 2, the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.

What does the Text say?

Some of the enemies of the Jews came to them and ask if they could help in rebuilding the Temple, but Zerubbabel saw through their scheme and said they could not help. Then they hired counselors to go to Persia convince King Cyrus, Xerxes, Artaxexres and Darius to halt the rebuilding of the Temple and of the city of Jerusalem. Artaxexres had the building of the Temple stopped because of the history of rebellion of the people of Israel. In the second year of the reign of King Darius, he allowed the rebuilding to continue and the Temple was completed.

During this same time period, Nehemiah was granted permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city. Nehemiah was a Jewish captive in Babylon during the 70 years of exile, and has risen in position to being the cup bearing for the King Artaxexres.  Nehemiah learned from a friend that Jerusalem was still in ruins, after several days of fasting and prayer he approached the king with a plan to allow him to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, and King Artaxexres granted him permission to go and provided for the supplies to rebuild the walls.

He was opposed in his rebuilding of the walls by Sanballat, Tobiah and other Arab. They taunted the Jews who were rebuilding the walls and they tried to distract Nehemiah from his work first by asking him to come and meet with them in a nearby city and when he would not come, they tried to get one of the Jewish leaders who was disloyal, Shemaiah to convince Nehemiah that he was under a death threat and that he should hit in the Temple. Nehemiah would not go hide and he continued to pray and to lead the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The walls were rebuilt in a record 52 days, the Temple was completed and the opposition to the Jews was cast down in their spirits because the work was done and they could see God’s working in it.

How Does This Apply to Me?

In both cases the rebuilding of the Temple and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, the Jews faced opposition, but they would not stop. WHY? In both cases the Jewish people and their leaders knew they were being directed by God and the leaders kept the people’s focus on God and the work and would not be distracted by their enemies, or by the Enemy.

The focus was on God both in prayer and studying His word. They did not pay attention to the distractions but kept PRAYING and doing the will of God, the work they had been called to. They got other people involved in the work and they worked together to encourage each and to stay focused on the task at hand. They could see God working and they wanted to be a part of His work, they all knew what life was like outside of this work, in the past, in their exile, but now they had a vision of something new, of something that could be different

God has plans for our lives and as we surrender more and more of lives to Him, the more of His plans we see and experience Some of God’s plans may be difficult for us to comprehend, may even seem impossible, but as long as we are seeking Him as we push on various doors we will see that He is the power by getting the work accomplished. Getting close to God and knowing His plan starts with our confessions to Him, our surrender to Him and our constant communication with Him to both talk with Him and listen to Him-God is constantly trying to communicate with us and He can use any medium of communication to accomplish this including His Word, other people, other writings, music, and any other form of communication that we use

God is a God of love and a God of Holiness; He wants to work both in us to change us and through us to reach out to other people. It is difficult if not impossible to hear God unless we are living for God

Additional Verses to Consider

Psalm 41:1-4 / 1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.2 The Lord protects and preserves them— they are counted among the blessed in the land— he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. 4 I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;  heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

Psalm 46:10 / 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Matthew 7:7 / 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Psalm 103:8-12 / The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 107:8-9 / Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty  and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 12:1-2 / I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 127:1-2 / Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain .Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.

1 Peter 5:8 / 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

James 4:7-10 / 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Philippians 4:13 / 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:19 / 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 6: 10-12 / 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.