You write the message, record the podcast, create the blog, share on social media, and juggle “all the things.” Capture more emails. Send more pitches. Answer more calls. It all seems unending. But while the ministry to-do list grows longer, that seems to be the only thing growing.
- Where are my people?
- How can I reach them?
- Why is ministry so much more complicated than I initially thought?
Thankfully, we’re not the first to struggle under the weight of doing God’s work. In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, we meet the author of the book, a leader who felt burdened and called to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. It would be no easy task. The enemy burned the gates to the ground and left the remaining rubble scattered. Survivors who attempted to remain in the city lived vulnerable to the enemy without any protection.
Before Nehemiah could even begin to help, he would need permission from the king to move, not to mention resources to assist in the peril! It all seemed like an improbable situation with obstacles larger than life.
Nehemiah didn’t begin with crafting a lofty vision statement.
Think about it:
- He didn’t garner references or reviews.
- He didn’t build an email list.
- He didn’t create a new website.
- He didn’t write a book proposal.
- He didn’t draft a one-sheet promotional piece.
Nehemiah eventually worked with the ancient cultural methods of the day to do substantial work. But it all started with an impression from the Lord upon his heart, and so his first step? Prayer.
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4
Nehemiah’s example shows us precisely what to do with a ministry call from the Lord. When a burden is seared into your heart and mind, churning grief and longing for restoration, the first step of the solution is always one thing—talking to your heavenly Father.
If you know me at all, then you know I firmly believe in hard work. I love strategy and goals, and I eat to-do lists for breakfast, but there is one thing I love even more. That God is a stronger communicator than I can ever be. He’s the inventor of all things creative, and his ear is ever in tune to hear the cries of my heart.
Prayer must be my first response and not my last resort.
Perhaps as you’ve read this article, you’ve begun to realize that prayer hasn’t been the priority of your ministry. In fact, your ministry isn’t growing because you’re doing “all the things” but without taking your burdens to the feet of Jesus and leaving them there. You’ve forgotten that God wants to do more than give you the answers to your prayers. He wants to give you Himself.
When you run to his feet and begin conversations of praise, forgiveness, thanksgiving, and supplication, you start in beautiful humility and soak in the blessing of his joy and pace.
Lord, move us to higher ground today but let us begin at your feet.
Pray before slay, Friends!
Question: What is the greatest need you have for prayer in your life and/or ministry right now? How can the Speak Up Tribe pray for you?
Give someone the gift of prayer through Rachel’s Beautiful 31 Days of Prayers for the Heart prayer cards. “These cards are spot on when I can’t find the words.”—Savannah.
About Rachel Wojo
Rachel Wojo is an entrepreneur from Columbus, Ohio, who self-started and developed a blog to business platform over the last decade. She is the director of Speak Up Growth Groups and podcaster at Untangling Life. Rachel hosts Bible reading challenges on her popular blog, rachelwojo.com, which rallies readers of all ages to search God’s Word for solutions to life’s problems. Her site has over 30,000 subscribers, and her six-week Bible reading plan for children is used by more than four million people worldwide. Her biblical approach, coupled with her life circumstances, influences women to find strength and hope for everyday situations. Rachel is the author of One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up. Her experience includes traditional-publishing, self-publishing, email list management, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest development. She is also a public speaker and contributor to well-known faith-based publications for companies, such as Dayspring and Girlfriends in God. Rachel’s list of works includes 2 ebooks, 14 self-published books, 2 traditionally-published books, and 3 traditionally-published collaborative works. Rachel is crazy in love with Matt, mom to six on earth and two in heaven. Find her at rachelwojo.com.