11Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.
Have you ever found yourself in a set of circumstances that required a bit of courage on your part? I mean, by definition, what we would call something that required mental, emotional, and especially, spiritual strength to persevere amidst danger, fear, or difficulty. This is obviously not a comfortable place in which to find ourselves in any situation or season of life regardless of the cause. However, this is where the prophet Nehemiah finds himself – right in the crosshairs of courage and fear. He is deeply grieved over the news that his homeland lay in ruin, and his desire is to leave his post as cupbearer to the king, making his way there to assess the damage himself. But he would need permission and provisions to make this long trip possible. What we do know is that before our story picks up with verse eleven, Nehemiah deeply wept and fervently prayed to God over what appeared to be a hopeless situation.
But as author Gene Getz writes, “Nehemiah demonstrates that in our moments of pain and helplessness, we need to remember we have access to God – the One who can help us make our way through life’s greatest moments of darkness.” Nehemiah’s prayer, 11Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man (the king),” is one much like you and I can pray – “Lord, in this moment, please go before me making a way where there seems to be no way.” Very often on our journey, courage in taking the next step is placing our circumstances in God’s hands, and then as difficult as it can be, waiting on Him to move on our behalf as He did for Nehemiah. The important thing to remember is it’s not about the number of steps we take each day, but more so that we continue to take courageous steps of obedience toward Christ one at a time, trusting in Him for the results. Not to leave our story incomplete, God honored Nehemiah’s prayers and granted him favor in the sight of the king allowing him the permission he would need for travel along with the provisions for his mission. God is so often waiting for us to come to Him for what are our everyday needs as well as our greatest needs in moments of crisis. May we take a cue from Nehemiah in seeking God first through prayer when we need courage on the journey.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, I thank You this morning that because of Jesus, I have direct access to You in prayer because I can “boldly approach your throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace in my time of need.” (Hebrews 14:16) Lord, let your ear be attentive to hear my prayers as I, like Nehemiah, fear (revere) Your name. May I seek You first for courage along the journey as I’m reminded in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes before you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Father, thank You for the courage you provide through Your word, Spirit, and through prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.