The book of Nehemiah has much to instruct us regarding praying for Ireland at this time. Like the walls broken down and the gates destroyed in the fire, mentioned in Chapter 1, there is a sense that there is a spiritual application for us – that the defences which the church should be providing in society against evil, have been torn down. Today, we need to experience anew a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in and through the church, we need a revival, we need to see the walls built up again, to have the gates of God’s moral standard set in place, to see the reestablishment of the gate-keepers and the watchmen on the walls.
Over the last number of years, many new churches and prayer ministries have risen up across Ireland. Chapter 4 verse 19 gives us a good description of that:
“The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.”
At a first glance, Nehemiah chapter 3 is nothing more than a chronicle of people and groups repairing a wall, until you realise that there are approximately 40 groups mentioned, each building their own section. It’s important for us to see that they were not building 40 separate walls, but one wall. Somewhere in the building of each section, they had to cooperate, to interconnect with the sections on the right and the left of each other. And so it should be within prayer ministries and the local/national churches. Each may have its distinctive role in building up the ‘wall’ in Ireland, realising that if God has raised them up to ‘stand in the gap’ for Ireland at this time, then they are all part of something much greater, which He is overseeing.
We need to know this at a deep heart level, and find mutual encouragement and support for and from those working on either side of us. It says in chapter 4 verse 6 that “the people worked with all their heart.” Why? Because they shared Nehemiah’s vision. In chapter 2, Nehemiah shared it with them –
“You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. I also told them about the gracious hand of the Lord upon me…”
Their reply was – “Let us start rebuilding.” And so, they began the good work (v.17, 18). I reiterate, what they were doing was a relational thing – they saw that the vision Nehemiah presented to them needed to be a corporative work. There is no evidence of arm twisting, they caught what Nehemiah had in his spirit and they went for it, together. This enabled them to keep going in the midst of opposition and fatigue. And undoubtedly Nehemiah’s accepted oversight, care and concern for them, inspired them to continue.
Let us pray today that the church in Ireland will grasp anew something of Gods ‘big picture’ for building His Kingdom here. And let us pray for the leaders of each section, that they may know who they are to be interconnected with.