The Listening Heart ~ A Song to Pray

I am grateful that God moves our hearts to pray not only through Scripture, but other things that we may be experiencing. It may be a word or phrase, a song, an experience, a memory, an article or a news report, a loss, or anything really.

Lately, the song, Nehemiah” by Jon Egan has been in my heart and guiding my prayers. I have prayed from it personally, with my church, and with other leaders in our community as we pray for the cities in our region together. It has moved my heart and held my attention for several weeks now, so much that I went back and read the book of Nehemiah again!

One of the things that I admire and respect the most about Nehemiah is his heart for his hometown and the people that had lived there after surviving captivity. He heard of the condition of the city walls being broken down and the city gates being burned with fire, leaving the people vulnerable to the attacks of their enemies and in disgrace. His heart was broken. He mourned and wept, fasted and prayed, confessed and repented, and sought the favor of God to be able to return and help them. But why? The first and second verses and chorus of this song answers that question:


I stand on this wall and I hear my good Father’s will

Through an ocean of voices I hold, I’ll stay and I’ll build

Vs. 2

Ruins and rubble will be a great mighty wall

No matter the cost, I refuse to leave when You’ve called


I will stand strong knowing my Father is for me,

Knowing my Father has called me

I’m not coming off this wall

What resolve and determination Nehemiah shows us and how committed he is to focus on what his responses were to be to Father! He was focused and purposeful in his inspections and saw the reality of what was, and the potential in what could be. He depended on and trusted God because he knew God’s voice and purpose. In the third verse, we hear a little bit about the things that he endured as he continued to move forward:

Vs. 3

Open my eyes to behold all is not dead

When everything shakes I will cling to Your promise instead

The enemy comes like a thief to steal and destroy

But I know a strength that will come in freedom and joy

Many things happened in Nehemiah’s resolve to rebuild the walls and his devotion in prayer as a response to his enemies. Here are a few of them:

-favor with the King of Persia that he served

-received letters to pass through provinces between Susa and Jerusalem safely

-a letter to the keeper of the forest for timber to rebuild Jerusalem’s gates and the wall

-inspected the city walls and gates at night unharmed

-rallied the people in Jerusalem to rebuild

-testified to them of God’s favor

-God frustrated the plans of the enemies that mocked, threatened, conspired against, and caused disturbances to stop the work of rebuilding