Passage: Nehemiah 2:1~10  

Key verse: 8b

Nehemiah was afraid for his life because the king recognized the sadness in his face. Such a display was not allowed in the king’s presence. When the king inquired about what was wrong, Nehemiah responded respectfully with courage and boldness. After proclaiming “May the king live forever!”, he went on to describe the shameful state of Jerusalem. This took courage because Artaxerxes himself had ordered the work on the walls of Jerusalem to be stopped. So where did Nehemiah’s courage and boldness come from? It came from months of fasting and prayer. After prayer, Nehemiah was willing to lay down his life for God’s people. His mind and his will became powerfully focused. When the king asked Nehemiah what he wanted, he continued to pray! He then made his request, and the king was pleased to grant it.

Clearly, Nehemiah depended upon the Lord in prayer. However, that did not stop him from making careful plans. Nehemiah was ready to act when God opened the door. Nehemiah requested two letters from the king: one for safe passage and another for supplies. The king granted these and provided army officers and cavalry for protection. Nehemiah was quick to offer God the glory in all of this. He realized that the gracious hand of God was on him and that God had answered his prayers.

Prayer: Father, teach us to depend on you.

One Word: The gracious hand of God is on us