TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 2:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "The king said to me, 'What is it you want?' Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, 'If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.' ... And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my request." Nehemiah 2:4&8
“Jerusalem is a mess,” Hanani said. “Its walls are broken down and the gates are just charred rubbish.”
Nehemiah was shocked and sad to hear this news from his brother Hanani. Though Nehemiah had lived in Persia all his life, his heart was with his people in Jerusalem. He wished there was something he could do.
He thought of going to Jerusalem and getting to work on that wall. But that could never happen because King Artaxerxes had said that Jerusalem should not be rebuilt. And Artaxerxes was his boss. He would never let him leave his job for such a reason.
Yet over the next four months, Nehemiah couldn’t forget his dream of returning to Jerusalem. Every day he imagined working on that Jerusalem wall. He talked to God about it and often fasted when he prayed.
One day when he was at work – his job was to taste the king’s wine to make sure it was good and not poisoned – he was again thinking about Jerusalem when King Artaxerxes looked his way.
Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible
© American Bible Society 1976, 1992, used with permission.
“What’s wrong?” the king asked Nehemiah. “You look sad.”
Nehemiah’s heart pounded in fear. Why had he let the king see his feelings? He knew of servants the king had killed for being moody at work. Fearfully he answered, “How can I help but be sad when my home city Jerusalem is in ruins?”
“What do you want?” King Artaxerxes asked.
“I’d like to go to Jerusalem and help rebuild the wall.”
“How long would you take and when would you come back?”
Nehemiah could hardly believe his ears. The king was going to let him go!
As Nehemiah discussed his travel plans, he even had the courage to ask for building supplies and travel protection. And Artaxerxes said yes to every one of Nehemiah’s requests. God had prepared the king's heart.
Has God given you a big project or dream? Does it seem impossible that it could ever come true? Pray about it like Nehemiah did. Then leave your plans and dreams with God. At the right time, He will open the door like He did for Nehemiah, and make a way for your dream to come true too.
PRAYER: Dear God I bring to You my dream of ____ . Please make it to happen in Your time. Amen.
MORE: Prayer Promises
The Bible is full of promises about God answering our prayers. Here are three to look up. Pick your favorite and memorize it.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS are available too at Other Food: daily devo's.