Nehemiah had people around him that thought “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.””(Neh 6:9) Sometimes I feel like people think the same thing about me and what I’m trying to
do. People may not want to help out, because they think I’m going to give up, or maybe I’m a dreamer with a lot of ideas but not much meat on the bones of my ideas.
I was praying about this and reading Nehemiah and came across this verse. In my case I don’t have people trying to make this happen like Neh did, but I think I do have people wondering how we’re going to do all the things we dream of doing. What may come as a shock is that I know already the exact way that everything will happen: God.
When Nehemiah was in this situation, the very next sentence says “But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” I read this, and not knowing what to pray specifically, I began to pray this prayer. Lord, strengthen my hands. I prayed it all day yesterday. Lord, strengthen my hands. Make my grip on You tighter. Make my efforts more effective. Make my skills more skillful and my movement bolder. Lord, strengthen my hands. Should I pray for confirmation of His call on our lives? Should I pray for signs and wonders? Should I pray for those helping us and those wondering about us? LORD, strengthen my hands.
So this morning I look up these two words in my Hebrew dictionary.
Strengthen: to be strong, courageous, (same word said to Joshua upon entering the Promised Land) support, encourage, preserve, confirm, construct, retain, harden
Hands: hand, power, strength, assistance, time, place, possession, a prescribed activity, a portion, a monument.
So when I pray, LORD, strengthen my hands. I am praying that God would help my assistance to be strong and courageous. Lord, strengthen my hands. Give me support for my time and my place. Lord, strengthen my hands. Confirm my prescribed activity. Construct my portion that You have given me. LORD, strengthen my hands. Preserve this monument of grace, this symbol of Your love that is my life. Lord, strengthen my hands. Be strong in Your strength. Do not hold back Your hand. Lord, strengthen my hands.
“Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for
tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then
the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a
miracle.” -Phillips Brooks, quoted by Samuel Zwemer in The Glory of
Lord, strengthen my hands.