Authentic Prayer Involves Both Prayer and Action

Helen Brownson

READ : Nehemiah 4:6-11

“So we prayed to our God and set a guard…” (v. 9).

Nehemiah’s life combines prayer and action. Though he lives in the palace of King Artaxerxes in Persia, he doesn’t forget his people. When he hears the bad news about his people, he weeps, then PRAYS. He asks for success in approaching the king, but it is four long months later that the king asks him about his sadness. Then he PRAYS to the God of heaven and speaks to the king.

He journeys to Jerusalem, takes letters for the governor, and faces his people’s enemies. He inspects the broken walls, conscripts builders, and helps the poor. He PRAYS again and reminds God of all his ACTION for his people. (Prayer plus action!)

When further opposition to the work occurs, Nehemiah PRAYS, “Strengthen my hands,” then confronts the enemy. Again, “we PRAYED to our God [prayer], and set a guard day and night to meet the threat [action].”

Perhaps as we pray God may call us to write a letter, make a visit, or telephone someone. How wonderful that in every prayer we make, we can take action with God’s help and blessing!


Lord, may my prayers not sound like empty words, but may I also obey You by taking appropriate action. Amen.