English Standard Version (ESV)
When in doubt, turn to Nehemiah. There's always wisdom in this book that guides me. Here, Nehemiah has heard of the devastation of his homeland, and his first response is to sit down and weep for days, fasting and praying.
There is much that is wrong in this world and in this country. There is pain written on the streets of our towns. Pain cries out in a loud chorus, demanding a future that can be written with hope and not fear. Our first response is to listen to the pain, to hear it, and to sit and weep for the brokenness that exists in our society. No matter your station, we can mourn for the things that are broken, we can sit and we can pray for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters.
Nehemiah is a bold leader who goes into a situation and demands change, and he leads by example. But first, he sits and prays, orienting himself to God, ensuring he has heard and understands the situation. Only then does he go.
So may we sit and pray as a nation, as a people, as a church. May we weep where there is pain, and may we mourn where there is loss. Having oriented ourselves properly, hearing what needs to be heard and listening where we need to listen, then we will be ready to move forward.