As the Israelites began rebuilding their temple wall, they quickly realized that doing something worth doing didn’t mean there wouldn’t be opposition or difficulties. Today, as we try to honor God’s character and purposes in our day-to-day work, we are likely to run into opposition, too—sometimes from others, and sometimes from our own ingrained habits. But Nehemiah reminds us that God has provided us with everything we need to learn to trust Him and overcome.
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Cities are important parts of human life—they are centers of arts, culture, academics, science, industry and government, as well as the best places to see a country’s gods and idols. What does it mean to care for a city? How do we know a city and feel for it well enough that we can pray over it in our lives and serve it in our work?
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There is perhaps no greater evidence of faith than prayer, yet fewer dimensions of the Christian life are more frequently misunderstood. Because the gospel reveals to us a God whose character is unique among the images of god painted by the other philosophies and worldviews around us, it also invites us to pray differently—with greater freedom and clarity—than we ever have before. And it also provides us with a compelling confirmation of those prayers.