Despite our greatest efforts, our authority, wealth, and power cannot compare with receiving favor at the hand of God. In Nehemiah’s case, God’s favor multiplied exponentially, resulting in Nehemiah’s finding favor with the king who granted him everything he requested. But there’s preparation to be done before favor becomes a reality. No doubt Nehemiah planned (and rehearsed) his entire request before he had the opportunity to speak with the king. Note that even when the king asked what he wanted, in an instant, before he responded, Nehemiah sent up a quick silent prayer to God!
What do you want? Sometimes we are afraid to voice our request…out of fear…out of seeming greedy…out of feelings of unworthiness…out of feeling our request is beyond God’s capacity to deliver. Never doubt God nor limit his ability to bless you beyond comprehension. The Bible tells us that God’s “power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3.20, 21) if we would ask, seek, knock (Matthew 7.7, 8). When you have had your audience kneeling in prayer before God, your king, and have found favor, it becomes much easier to stand in the presence of anyone.
Take the time to evaluate the needs of your city. When you pray, if God were to ask, “What do you want me to do?” are you prepared, as Nehemiah was, to give an answer?
When you receive favor at the hand of God, remember to acknowledge both the gift and the giver. From~ Restart: Stepping Out in Faith
Nehemiah seeks favor with the king. He reminds God that the people for whom he is praying are those who, in time past, God himself had rescued by his might and power. In essence, Nehemiah is saying, “Do it again, Lord. Do it again for me.” He intercedes not only for the people back in Jerusalem, but also on behalf of his fellow intercessors. What a big heart! He pleads with God to answer their prayer as well because together, as believers, they have a singular aim to see Jerusalem restored.
Do you join others in praying for issues that are close to their heart? The Bible says that when two or more gather in the name of Jesus and petition him concerning their needs, he will be there to bless them. What blessings are you seeking for your city and its people? Are there other groups with whom you are sharing your petitions?
What past victories can you recall? Will you ask God to do it again for you? With whom are you seeking favor? Have you petitioned God for help?
Join a rally that supports a cause that is close to your heart.
From~ Restart: Stepping Out in Faith
God keeps his promises. Nehemiah knew that firsthand, and he was convinced of it. Just as God had promised to punish the people for disobedience (and God followed through by allowing them to be taken captive), Nehemiah knew that godly repentance and obedience would bring the people once again into right standing with God. So, while in the presence of God, Nehemiah reminds God of his promise to bring restoration. The road to restoration is paved with the bricks of confession and repentance of sin. And Nehemiah was willing to start bricklaying.
Quite often we barter with God, trading what we consider righteous deeds in exchange for actually doing what God’s Word says we should. When we do that or willfully withhold our obedience, and consequently our obeisance, God considers it sin. However, the corollary is true. When we repent and obey God’s laws, God is faithful to his promise to restore us.
Think what would happen if people all over the city would be obedient to God’s Word. Think what would happen if Christians in your city would kneel before God and remind God of his promises. Nehemiah acted like a first responder in this crisis. Are there beginning steps you can take?
Search the Scriptures for God’s promises that address the troubles that plague your city. Find ways to show people in your community how positive changes in their behavior will help change the state of the city.
From~ Restart: Stepping Out in Faith