Monday, March 16, 2020

For Such a Time as This - Pray By Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Nehemiah 1:1-4 (NASB) 1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capitol, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.” 4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

When Nehemiah’s brothers and friends approach him after they returned from a trip to the homeland of Judah, of course he asked about those who remained in Jerusalem during the exile, and about the conditions they lived in. Nehemiah was devastated to learn the distress his kinsmen were in as well as the utter destruction of the city itself. He was broken hearted. He sat down, wept, and mourned for days. Then he fasted and prayed.

I’ve lost count of the many times have I seen a disturbing scene on the news of a natural disaster that took many lives, or of the devastation of a madman wielding some kind of weapon that took away many precious lives. In my lifetime I have witnessed the events of September 11, Hurricane Katrina, and many other terrible, terrible things. I will be the first to admit that on occasion, I have become a bit desensitized to the sheer level of destruction, evil, and depravity that we live under almost every single day that I do not do what Nehemiah did. That is truly be broken hearted by what I have seen and heard.

As I write this, major sporting events, concerts, and even church services have been cancelled due to the global pandemic of the Coronavirus. I am finally taking my ques from Nehemiah. I have been in prayer for our nation, for our leaders, both local and national, and for our pastors. I’ve been praying for parents far and wide as they try to explain to their kids why they need to stay home from school. I vacillate between concern, anger, and admittedly a little bit of fear.

I call on you to do what God has called you to do, that is write and support other writers by reading and posting reviews, but most of all, pray, pray, pray. Click to tweet it!

The things that have helped me this last week has been to write. I think as writers, that is just what we do. I’ve written on the current novella that I’ve been working on for a while and am very close to finishing. I wrote a speech that I gave to probably the last large gathering I will be able to attend for a while. In that congregation of women, I had the privilege to lead a woman to Christ.

Much like Nehemiah, my heart breaks for what we are being robbed of by the spread of this virus. the coming together as brothers and sisters in Christ that we gain our strength. It is the power of corporate prayer that breaks chains and sets captives free. It is prayer. Today, writers and readers, I call on you to do what God has called you to do, that is write. Support other writers by reading, and posting reviews, but most of all, pray, pray, pray.

Multi award winning writer, Patty Nicholas-Boyte lives with her Husband Brian in the mountains of North Carolina. She is a busy event planner for the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, and is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group. She is a mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of three. She writes Bible studies and devotionals as well as contemporary romance. 

She is a regular contributor to the Cove Blog.
Devotions are published in compilations by Lighthouse Bible Studies.