Read: Nehemiah 1
O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant. (v. 11)
The book of Nehemiah is really the first-person memoirs of Nehemiah himself—a contemporary of Ezra the priest. The events of chapter 1 took place about 13 years after Ezra’s arrival in Jerusalem—90 years or so after the first Jewish exiles had returned to their native land.
When Nehemiah met with his brother Hanani, who was newly returned from Jerusalem, he heard distressing news. Conditions in the city were bad; the city’s walls were still not rebuilt, and the people felt discouraged and humiliated. While Nehemiah had an important position in Artaxerxes’s court as the king’s cupbearer, he still identified with God’s people in Jerusalem. As he planned to become personally involved in the rebuilding of Jerusalem, he began in the best way possible—with prayer. Before he made his request to the great Persian king, Nehemiah brought his petition to the great God and Creator of all things! As he confessed his own sins and the sins of his people, he asked God to restore them to their homeland. Then he asked for mercy in the sight of the king himself.
We will find that Nehemiah was a wise man—a man who was both a planner and a doer. But before he attempted to do anything, Nehemiah was a man of prayer! If God didn’t bless the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the situation would remain dire. Nehemiah trusted that God would hear and answer his prayer. —Laura N. Sweet
As you pray, ask God to direct and bless your future plans.
About the Author
Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.