This fall Nehemiah will be our guide and model for mobilizing MainStreet in the task of restoring the city of Mound for the glory of God. Nehemiah was living in the King’s winter palace when he got word of the broken down state of Jerusalem. Filled with compassion for the plight of Jerusalem, and filled with determination to do something about the problem, Nehemiah courageously asked the King to send him to Jerusalem with provisions to rebuild.
Upon his arrival in the city, he spent 3 days preparing his heart and mind to face the challenge ahead of him. Then he arose secretly in the cover of night, and with a small band of men, he went walking through the city examining the extent of the damage. Nehemiah was a man of prayer, and I would guess that his walk that night was filled with heart-felt prayer for the city lying in ruins, and for the strength and determination to complete the significant project ahead of him.
Similarly, God has filled a group of people with compassion for the spiritual state of the city of Mound. God has enlisted a strong team of people to begin the work of rebuilding the church of God in this community. Tonight we want to follow Nehemiah’s example, and make our own prayerful walk down the main street of Mound praying for revival in this city, for the mission of MainStreet, for those who don’t yet know Christ, and for this Sunday’s groundbreaking worship service. Here’s the story:
11 lSo I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13 I went out by night by mthe Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to nthe Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem othat were broken down pand its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I went on to qthe Fountain Gate and to rthe King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15 Then I went up in the night sby the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, thow Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18 And I told them vof the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” wSo they strengthened their hands for the good work.
Nehemiah’s walk through Jerusalem led him to five specific sites. As we walk and pray tonight, we’re going to let each of these places symbolically direct our prayers for Mound and MainStreet.
VALLEY GATE: The valley symbolizes the “low place”, the place humility and dependence on God. Let us begin by expressing our dependance on God in our lives and in the mission of MainStreet. DEPENDANCE
DRAGON SPRING: We remember the spiritual desert Mound is, and pray expectantly for God to “clear a way in the desert” and “make rivers on a dry land” (Isaiah 43). Pray for revival in all local churches. REVIVAL
DUNG GATE: This was the gate where all the waste from temple sacrifices was discarded. Let us confess our sins and the sins of the city to the One who provided the final sacrifice for us. CONFESS SINS
FOUNTAIN GATE: Jesus gives us Living Water, filling us with the Spirit. Pray for those who don’t yet have this Living Water, for those who are still trying to “draw water from cracked cisterns” (Jer. 2:13). SALVATION
KING’S POOL: We pray MainStreet would be a pool of fresh water in the middle of Mound, a place where the spiritually thirsty come and drink deeply of the goodness of the King of Kings, Christ Jesus! IMPACT
Verses 17-18 describe Nehemiah’s rally cry to the people of the city, and his bold invitation to join in the work of rebuilding. On Sunday, Jeremy will be offering a similar invitation to the people of Mound. PRAY THAT PEOPLE RESPOND AS ENTHUSIASTICALLY AS THEY DID IN THIS STORY: “Let us rise up and build!” Thank the LORD for all those who have already joined in this mission!