Nehemiah 2: Having Faith in Prayer
Nehemiah 2 can teach us a lot about faith. If you remember in the last chapter, Nehemiah was very upset that Jerusalem was in ruins, and he wanted to be the one to go back to rebuild the city. However, he was also the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes.
That obviously came with a benefit and a problem. The benefit was that he had access to the king’s ear. However, that also meant that the king could flat out refuse his request.
With this kind of uncertainty, Nehemiah needed courage to ask what he was about to ask, and he knew the right place to go for that.
Neh 2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
Neh 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.
He prayed before he presented his case. While we don’t necessarily know exactly what he said in that prayer, I have to think that he was hoping for a receptive audience. The king had given him the opportunity to explain what he wanted to do, and now he needed to take his best shot.
The only way we take our best shot is if God is with us. We can only do so much on our own, and we need to learn to rely on God for it all. Nehemiah knew that, and he prayed before he told his story. He had faith that that prayer would make a difference.
We need to remember the power and privilege of prayer in our lives.