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A Vision Begins With Prayer

A Vision Begins With Prayer

Nehemiah 1:1-2:18

A vision begins as a concern
A vision does not necessarily require immediate action
So what should you do in the meantime to keep your dream alive?
Let’s look at Nehemiah 1: 1-11

When Nehemiah heard about the condition of Jerusalem, there was nothing he could physically do to remedy the situation. It seemed as if he was in the wrong place, with the wrong job, working for the wrong guy.

But Nehemiah was not inactive. The four months between hearing about the condition of the walls and finally being able to do something about it was a productive time for Nehemiah.

Nehemiah did two things to prepare for the time when God would lead Him to pursue his vision.

I. He prayed – Prayer is critical to vision development. Why? Because we see what we are looking for, and often miss what we don’t expect to see.

A. Prayer keeps us looking.
B. It keeps our eyes and our hearts in the expectant mode.
C. When God begins to move, we are only going to see it if we are ready and watching.
D. Notice that Nehemiah did not pray for God to rebuild the wall.
E. He prayed for an opportunity to go rebuild it himself.
F. That is the difference between a dreamer and a visionary.
G. Dreamers dream about things being different.
H. Visionaries envision themselves making a difference.
I. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done.
J. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something.

II. He planned – Nehemiah thought about what would be needed to accomplish this vision (or at least get started).
A. When God has given us a vision, we need to go ahead and start developing a plan.
B. Assuming you had the resources, what would you do?
C. Assuming you had the time, what would you do first?
D. Nehemiah laid out steps of how to pursue this vision.
E. He made sure that if he got an opportunity to present his vision to the king, he was ready.
Pray for opportunities and plan as if you expect God to answer your prayers.

The problem is that many of us fail to pray and fail to plan.
As we pray about and plan for the vision, it seems overwhelming and impossible. When God puts something on our hearts, it always seems out of reach (because it is). God ordained visions are always too big for us to handle.

There are always more questions than answers and more obstacles than solutions.

Nehemiah no doubt felt like he was in the wrong place doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. But God knew what He was doing. He had Nehemiah in the right place doing the right thing at the right time.
God had given Nehemiah a place among the palace servants. Then he maneuvered him through the ranks of influential Persian officials so he would be noticed for his integrity and trustworthiness. Eventually he was recommended to the king and appointed to the position of cupbearer.

On the surface it might have appeared that God was moving Nehemiah in a direction that would make it impossible to accomplish this dream. But actually, just the opposite was true. God gave Nehemiah a job and a relationship that gave him an inside track to the king. Like a master strategist, God was working behind the scenes putting everything in position.

III. God is using your circumstances to position and prepare you to accomplish His vision for your life.
A. Just as this was true for Nehemiah, it’s also true in your life.
B. This is easy to see when we are looking back, but it always takes faith when looking ahead.
C. Often we can not see any tangible connection between our circumstances and the vision God has given us. Even though it may not make sense to us on the surface, rest assured that God is working behind the scenes to position everything needed to accomplish the vision He has given.



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