Maybe it’s been weeks, or months even, since you have had a peaceful meal at home. It seems like every time you sit down for dinner a shouting match breaks out. Or maybe there is absolutely no conversation at all, just a deadening silence. Everyone just sulks alone or sits staring at the television. One thing is for sure, you don’t feel that your home is a nurturing environment of love. The worst part is that you probably feel partly, or largely, responsible for the mess.
In the Bible’s Old Testament, there is a short book called Nehemiah. The Book of Nehemiah only has about twenty pages, but inside there is a wealth of information about how to rebuild from the ashes of destruction. Nehemiah is a Hebrew who returns to Jerusalem to find it in ruins after having been destroyed by the Babylonians. Upon hearing this news, Nehemiah sits down and weeps.
In modern times, the Babylon of today sends messages into our homes that seek to destroy what is good and wholesome about family life. Today it is all about image and power and money. If you try to set limits on your children you are criticized for being too strict. But if you don’t do anything your kids end up going down a road that leads to a terrible end. Once cute child Disney stars grow up into monsters who teach that sexual explicitness, drugs and self-glorifying behavior are the road to happiness. Suddenly, evil finds itself protected in a cocoon of good intentions gone wrong. One thing that we all feel is an uneasy sense of disorder.
Our own desires and misguided pursuits also put a strain on our families. We focus too much on money and social appearances. Or maybe we push our children to sign up for everything and everyone ends up exhausted. Meanwhile there is no real dialogue, no real connection between hearts.
Gigantic forces are at work here, such as multimillion dollar advertising campaigns, social and peer pressure and the overwhelming desire by many parents to just throw in the towel. A truly diabolical spirit drives huge sections of society to forget about God. The final product is a family in ashes. Poor communication. Depression. Anger. Resentment, maybe even rage.
So you know exactly how Nehemiah feels. Maybe you have even been doing some crying yourself. All your hopes and dreams for your family seem to be impossible now. All the work and sacrifice you have made appear to be for nothing.
So what did Nehemiah do? He prayed.
In part of this prayer Nehemiah says to God, “Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night…”
Maybe you have already been praying. Whatever you do, don’t stop. Remember, Jerusalem is burning and it is time to do something about it.
But if you haven’t been praying, start right away. God can help you at any time, but he doesn’t want to force himself upon anyone. He wants to hear your voice.
In the Book of Matthew Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” And this means start praying and don’t stop. Ever.
You can begin by praying something like this:
Dear Lord. I see that my family is a mess. I desperately need your help. Come Lord, to my family, and rescue us. Come Lord, to my family and make us whole again. Do not let evil thoughts and negativity control my family any longer. Fight for me Lord. Defend us. Protect us. Free us. Save us. I need you, and I trust in you.
Trust is an essential element of faith. You must begin to develop faith that God can turn things around for you. This process will take time, but it will not take forever. The more you pray, the stronger your faith will become. It will become as strong as steel. And the stronger your faith is, the more you will be able to resist the downward spiral that is consuming your family. You won’t just resist it; you will crush the negativity and restore your home and your throne .
If you trust him, God will put the strength of his almighty Holy Spirit within you, and you will rebuild your Jerusalem.
(This post is an excerpt from my next book being written to help families in crisis.)