What was so special about Nehemiah? When he heard about a great injustice in his world (the walls of Jerusalem crumbing), he ALLOWED himself to be broken. He didn't keep his own internal walls up. He didn't think, "Well, I'm too far away. I can't do anything about it."
The Bible says that first, he SAT DOWN TO CRY (Nehemiah 1:4). Oh, how this news hurt him. He allowed himself to feel that hurt.
What burdens your heart? Is there one specific thing that weighs on you more than all of the other injustices or wrongs in this world? Maybe it is the unborn. Maybe it is hungry children. Maybe it is helping your own children to heal past previous trauma they've experienced. I bet, if you really open up your heart, you will feel broken and/or passionate about at least one thing.
After Nehemiah allowed himself to cry...to become sensitive to the injustice he saw, he KNELT DOWN TO PRAY (Nehemiah 1:4).
To pray is to become active, to seek guidance from all-knowing Father about what He would have you to do next. He may break the hearts of many over the homeless, but give each one a different way to make a difference in that area. He may call me to adopt an orphaned child; He may call you to start an orphanage. After you identify the area of injustice He would call you to, PRAY for confirmation and direction.
The Bible tells us that next, Nehemiah STOOD UP TO HELP. (Nehemiah 2:3-5).
He cried (became broken for a specific cause). He prayed (to confirm that the LORD was calling him to the cause, and to seek guidance). Then, he stood up to act! I think this is where lots of us get scared. I can feel genuinely burdened about lots of things. I can pray FOR those things to get better, but sometimes I don't ask the Lord what He would have me do to make a change. And certainly, there are many times that I never make it to the level of actually standing up to do something.
I think the thing to remember is that the Lord knows who we are. [He knows that I am naturally shy; that I am a picky-eater; that I don't want to go to the grocery store by myself (let alone across the world).] We just need to TRUST Him to know what He is calling us to. If we (1) allow ourselves to be broken, (2) seek his direction, and (3) are willing to step into action, He can do great works through us.
What would you allow Him to do through you?