When a motor vehicle accident occurs that requires much attention, an alert is carried out to trained professionals such as paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and police officers. This particular group of people is referred to as a “First Response Team” or “First Responders”. They are trained and qualified to assess and manage the situation immediately upon arrival.
In Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah receives the devastating news that God’s beloved Jerusalem is in bad shape. The city walls have been destroyed, and thus, enemy attacks are prevalent. The Jews are in great distress.
Upon hearing this news, Nehemiah 1:4 says, “ Nehemiah sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
Nehemiah’s first response was not to call 911 or call on a first response team or even call other fellow Jews to help decide how to address and handle this problem. Nehemiah’s first response was to fall on his knees and cry out to God. In fact, his fasting and praying lasted approximately four months!
Nehemiah fully understood the power of prayer and the power of a God who cares so much for us. Do we? Is prayer our first response or a last resort? We should get into the habit of daily communicating with God. Nehemiah didn’t just pray and leave it at the altar. He spent four months communing with God until he heard from the Lord and His instructions on what to do next. We should too. Talk to God every day, even about the little, mundane situations of our lives. He wants to hear about it. He loves us that much. Once we get used to an open conversation with God, prayer will automatically and instinctively become our first response to any and every situation. And as we wait upon the Lord for his answers and instructions on what to do next, we will renew our strength, mount up with wings as eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31). Amen!