The Jews were very active in multiple gaps. Nehemiah 4:1 says that the enemy mocked them. Verse 2 is where I got the title for one of my earlier ebooks in 2016. It says, “…Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that have been burned?”
We often get ‘burned’ in our interpersonal relationships. They are prime targets for the enemy of our soul. He hates unity, love, family, and church community. We must remember that a look on a person’s face does not likely involve us. Have you ever been distracted when talking to someone? Have you ever entered a new conversation, yet still were carrying anger from a previous situation?
We can easily ‘misread’ facial expressions. This is especially true if we have been burned in a relationship. Our emotions are on our sleeve, as the saying goes. We are often overly sensitive.
The Jews had to work closely together. If you read chapter three, the words, ‘next to them’ is frequently used. Nehemiah 4:6 says, “So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.”
Being active in a gap does not necessarily mean that the person knows that you are praying. They may not be open to your involvement. Yet, that is the beauty of God’s way. We can pray from afar. It is like a secret. The enemy has no access to stop our ambush.
Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” The Greek word ‘restore’ is like setting broken bones, or mending torn fishing nets.
Though we would normally consider this verse as a one on one involvement, we can expand it to be a secret prayer mission. You might see someone struggling with a habit that is counterintuitive to their spiritual growth; being tempted and yielding; downcast; or someone struggling with emotional pain.
We are the body of Christ. We are members individually and collectively. A weaker one is to be covered in prayer. Think back to Noah. He was lying naked in his tent ~ drunk. One son saw him and told his two brothers. What did the brothers do? It is the same principle when we pray secretly.
Genesis 9:23 says, “But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.”
Matthew 6:6 says, “…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
We can interpret this verse several ways. Here is what came into my mind as I was typing this. The ‘open’ reward is seeing the Lord’s hand move on behalf (intercession) of the one you are praying for. The gap is being closed! That is a great illustration of what it means to be active in the gap.