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June 9 – Halfway there (living on a prayer) 

“And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.” – Nehemiah 4:9

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 4:6-14

Whoever said good fences make good neighbours was not thinking about Nehemiah. The wall was raised. They were halfway there. Israel now had angry neighbours in every direction, threatening to attack Jerusalem, and no allies.

Artaxerxes might defend them, but it would take months for an army to get there. The people of God needed (again) to pray. Never undervalue prayer. We feel weak or overwhelmed, helpless and alone, but John 4:4 reminds us, “He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.” Call out to God for mercy, for support.

The Israelites were overwhelmed. The work was stalled because the workers had to become soldiers standing guard. They weren’t trained for war. Why does God’s work have to be so hard? Verse 14 says they were reminded to not fear, but to remember the Lord Who is great and awesome. Do we think about how great our God is? (Sunday helps us to do that.) When we worry about what the world might do, or feel weak against the temptations of the flesh and fear we cannot withstand whatever trial might come, can we remember how much greater and more awesome our God is? We have a long way to go, and there are real enemies around us. Continue in prayer, trusting in the Lord. 1 Peter 5:10 comforts us saying, “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to help you to remember that He is great, and He is with us in grace. Pray that in the times of trial and temptation, we may fight, knowing the Lord Almighty is our God.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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