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Leadership and Prayer: A lesson for us from Nehemiah

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

Nehemiah Chapter 1

Words from Ben Nelson, NEJ UMM President

I hope that you, your family, and your friends are doing well in these critical times.

“O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”

A lesson from Nehemiah

Separating life into distinct categories of “sacred” and “secular” damages any attempt to live a whole and satisfying life, a life lived to the glory of God. The damage to life is most obvious when the separation applies to our daily work. It is common for us to refer to the work of pastors, priests, and missionaries as “sacred”, and that of lawyers, tradesmen, and engineers as “secular”. Work, by its very nature, is holy. This biblical story is dominated by people who have jobs in gardening, shepherding, the military, politics, carpentry, tent making, homemaking, fishing, and more.

God called Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city using ALL the citizens to help him. With the help of EVERYONE, the city was rebuilt in an amazingly short amount of time. All lent their Labors to the cause. They praised God when the job was done! Nehemiah couldn’t have done the job by himself, but EVERYONE working with him made the job a success.

Brothers, United Methodist Men, are facing the same problems as Nehemiah. Our structure is badly damaged through apathy, COVID-19, and a lack of training about our job to further the kingdom of God here on earth. We have neglected the “sacred” side of our lives in hopes that we will be satisfied by focusing on the “secular” side to achieve wholeness in our lives.

Brothers in Christ, we give you thanks for the opportunity to work, learn, and to

help each of you and others who faithfully give in their roles and provide work for this ministry.

We bless all that has helped us to learn what is good, true, and beautiful,

distinguish between right and wrong and contribute to the needs of our society.

I hope that God gives each of you the strength and growth for the challenges ahead.

May we both pray and praise you for your abundance this harvest time. We pray that this harvest is not just shared but shared justly.

This harvest time, may we both pray and praise to you for the wealth of the harvest

and pray that this harvest is not just a promise but is full of promise for all.



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