Tool in One Hand, Weapons in the Other

Tim Savage

But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. (Nehemiah 4:16-17)
I think this passage is a great metaphor for families and ministry: Half of the team is on task, doing the work of the ministry and the other half is watching over them, providing necessities and protecting them. Here in Nehemiah the enemy was real and visible, these guards were stationed with their weapons to protect against a physical attack. Today, so often, our enemy is spiritual and we fight against an unseen adversary who tries to manipulate our mind, body, heart and soul.

Our weapon is prayer. We stand guard over each other by consistently praying protection, healing and spiritual well-being. Family, co-workers, friends and ministry partners all need the protection and covering that only prayer can give. I've seen so many examples of answered prayer, especially recently, I must remember to make prayer a part of my daily routine.
Like a warrior standing watch over his men, I need to pray over those that I love and care for, but like the Israelites of long ago, we all need to guard each other. They carried their tools in one hand and weapons in the other, and in the same way, we need to care for each other in while we work, or serve, or play.

While rebuilding the wall, the Israelites were threatened, but not physically attacked because they were prepared for battle. It's all the more necessary for us to be prepared because we will be attacked there's no doubt of that. Our families, ministries, finances pretty much everything we hold dear will come under fire at some point, so we need to be prepared ahead of time.

As a ministry we start and finish each weekend with prayer, as a team we get together once a week, as a family before meals and before the kid's go to bed, but I know that I need to spend more time in deeper thought with my Creator. I don't feel the need to talk more to God, but rather listen more, and that's why devotions and journaling is so important in my life.
Dear Heavenly Father,

Create in me a warrior's spirit for prayer. Please protect my family and ministry from the enemy. Please cover our minds, bodies and souls from anything that distracts us from You. I pray for healing for those that are ill, I pray for our finances in this time of turmoil, but mostly dear Lord, I pray that Your will be done in our lives.

In Jesus name,


Devotions for October 10

Nehemiah 3,4
Luke 23

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