Read Nehemiah 1
Nehemiah's prayer for Jerusalem; Nehemiah permitted to go to Jerusalem; walls rebuilt.
Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work (Neh. 2:18).
It was an answer to prayer and fasting that the king of Persia overruled a formal decree that this city (Jerusalem) be not builded. Up to this time the Medes and Persians had never reversed a decree (compare Ezra 4:21 with Dan. 6:8). The Persian king not only reversed the decree, but he appointed Nehemiah governor over Jerusalem and commissioned him to build the walls (Neh. 2:6-8).
Nehemiah soon faced opposition similar to that which Zerubbabel faced 100 years earlier. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem laughed him to scorn and ridiculed him, thinking this would cause him to stop work. But instead, Nehemiah said: The God of heaven, He will prosper us (2:20). He knew his God would fight for him and that he didn't have to depend on human strategy, power, or abilities. Nehemiah recognized God as the source of his strength and knew that, with His help, he could do great things. It is through God that we stand in this world. Without Him, we are incapable of anything holy and just. For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My Name might be declared throughout all the earth (Rom. 9:17).
The key to Nehemiah's faith was his unhesitating confidence in God's Word and the time he spent in prayer. Eleven times it is recorded in this book that Nehemiah prayed (Neh. 1:4-11; 2:4; 4:4-5,9; 5:19; 6:9; 6:14; 13:14; 13:22; 13:29; 13:31).
Just as Nehemiah's enemies were watching him, as Christians we are being observed by all those around us. It is important to stay focused on Jesus, depending on Him to guide us according to His Word. The world offers many pathways in life but we must turn to Jesus and not to the world to find our direction. He will lead us in the right way because He is The Way. Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
The world judges by outward appearance and great accomplishments, but God looks on the heart and blesses accordingly.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
Thought for Today:
Without prayer, nothing lasting can take place; and without the Word of God, Christians cannot be awakened to the power of prayer.
Through Nehemiah's prayer for his people (Neh. 1:4-11). Christ also prayed for His own throughout the ages, which includes us today (John 17:20).
1:5 terrible, awesome, greatly to be feared; 2:2 countenance, face; 2:7 convey me over, allow me to pass; 2:20 no portion, no part or property; 3:19 turning, corner; 3:23 over against, in front of, opposite of; 3:25 lieth out, extends from.
Pray for Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Officials: Gov. Bob McDonnell (VA), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), and Rep. Eric I. Cantor (VA) • Country: Grenada (97,000) southernmost of the Windward Islands • Major language: English • Religious freedom • 61% Roman Catholic; 31% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God in prayer continually and depend on His strength (I Chr. 16:11).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 1:1-2