Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders. So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah 4:4-6
Nehemiah was a man of good balance. He prayed courageously and did not relent on his task.
So much of life is a “head game.” If you have ever been locked in any intense competition, you know that a mental error is a fatal flaw to any competition. From chess to golf and every competition in between. Being sharp in your thinking is important. Opponents who are savvy are those that try to get in the head of those they oppose. And Nehemiah was no different. Just before what you read above, Nehemiah’s enemy mocks his attempts of rebuilding the wall. Nehemiah did not lose focus. What can a man learn from this great leader?
Prayer and focus are the keys to not taking the enemy’s bait. Notice the first reaction of this leader. Nehemiah went to God with his frustration. This did arouse some strong emotions in a resolute leader, but feeling angry is never the problem. It is all about how you navigate emotions. Responding appropriately through prayer is the first thing Nehemiah demonstrates. Staying focused on the task at hand regardless of difficulty is the other important lesson. He built the wall even in the face of the enemy because he did not lose focus. Prayer and focus are two companions a man of God can not live without.