Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah 1:11 NIV
How would you feel if you were employed in a palace? And that too in a very important position. So important that the king trusted you with his life. Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the King of Persia – Artaxerxes – the son of Xerxes. Trust was hard to find even in those days. One of the cupbearer’s duties was to choose and taste the king’s wine to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. So the king relied on Nehemiah.
History says that Xerxes the father of Artaxerxes I was killed in his own bedchamber by a courtier. But Nehemiah was a worshipper of the true God. So when he heard that there was a problem back home in his city he prayed to the Lord Almighty. After a period of 4 months of earnest praying and fasting he approached his earthly master the king for permission. Even though Nehemiah was a favorite of the king, he would not have rashly blurted out his request.
The king noticed that Nehemiah was sad. No matter what your personal problems were, the king’s servants were expected to keep their feelings to themselves and always be cheerful in his presence. Nehemiah could lose his job or even be killed for this behavior.
When Nehemiah honestly tells the king the reason for his sadness, the king not only gives him permission to go but also gave him letters to all the provinces which Nehemiah would have to pass through to get to his destination. The king also gave him the wood and other materials required to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah thanked God for answering his prayers!
1) Nehemiah first recognises that there is a problem. Then he prays about it. Nehemiah knew his God is greater than his master the king.
2) Then Nehemiah confessed his sins and the sins of all the people of Israel as they had disobeyed God and were now in bondage by the ungodly nations.
3) Next he carefully inspected the walls himself and planned how to go about with the task of rebuilding. And yes he prayed about it too.
God wants us to pray and be specific about what we need. Also when we commune with our creator it’s important to know and believe that God knows the situation – the past, present and future.
Nehemiah was consistent in his prayer life. Chapter 9 and verses 5 to 38 of the book of Nehemiah is the longest prayer in the Bible! God worked miraculously and the walls were built in just 52 days! Inspite of opposition not only from the outside but also from the inside.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV
Thanks for reading and God bless!😇