Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos, Prayer, Proximity and Preparation - page 4




Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos,
Prayer, Proximity and Preparation

by Ravi Zacharias,
Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

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A powerful closing statement because what was being debated at the campus at that time – I won’t go into it, but it had to do with this very issue that he addressed in these terms. Intellectual attack, cultural disorientation, fences coming down. How do we stand in the gap?

Nehemiah’s Model Response

There was a man in the mid-400s B.C. His name was Nehemiah. He was a civil engineer. He wasn’t a theologian. He was a civil engineer, and he was working in the king’s palace. The irony of it all is that he was a man of such trustworthiness that this man [the king] who had enslaved Nehemiah’s people brought Nehemiah to be the cup bearer so that Nehemiah would be the last person to taste the food before giving it to the king. That was the character of Nehemiah – he was trustworthy and truthful. If he gave his word, the king took him at his word.

And so the king looks at him one day and says, “You’re looking terribly despondent; what’s going on?” He said, “King, the reason I’ve been looking like this for the last four months is that my brother came from Jerusalem, and I asked him a question: ‘How is the city of my fathers?’ And my brother said, ‘You’re going to be sorry you asked. The city lies in ruins. The walls are broken down. We are being attacked from all sides. We have nothing to protect us anymore.’” And Nehemiah said, “From the day my brother left, I have not been able to sleep properly, King. My heart is broken because of my beloved city of Jerusalem.” It would be like Washington to us here. All the history, all the markings of what has been accomplished – if its walls were in ruins and broken down and the city were desolate and you were in a faraway land and somebody said to you, “What’s keeping you down?”

I was in Bangkok, Thailand, when 9/11 hit. Because I make friends with all of them in the hotels, the receptionist phoned me and said, “Mr. Zacharias, have you watched the news?” I said, “No.” She said, “I think you should turn it on. Your country is being bombed.” What was she talking about? I looked at my cell phone and noticed there were numerous calls through the night, but they would just ring and then I wouldn’t hear it. It was my children and wife trying to get hold of me, telling me what had just happened. And as I watched that – you all can remember where you were and watching this horrific sight – we will never forget it. Never forget it.


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