Nehemiah 2:7-8 – Prayer, Preparation, and Planning
And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me. (Nehemiah 2:7-8 ESV)
Nehemiah’s countrymen, the Jews, were living in destitution. The once powerful walls of Jerusalem were little more than scattered rubble, and her great gates that once protected the people and welcomed their friends were reduced to char and ash (Nehemiah 1:2-3). This broke him, and he began praying earnestly for God to work mightily on the Jew’s behalf (Nehemiah 1:4-6 & Nehemiah 1:11). However, he didn’t stop there; rather, he started planning for the day when God would answer his prayer. Many of us wait for God to work and answer prayer, like Nehemiah; but unlike him, we aren’t prepared for when he does. God uses that time of waiting to prepare us, which he did with Nehemiah. Nehemiah served king Xerxes as a cupbearer, a trusted position. The king, sensing his brokenness, asked him, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick?” (Nehemiah 2:2). But Nehemiah didn’t retell the sad tale, but was prepared with a well-planned solution. Are we preparing for the day when God moves? Have we been praying for revival as a church, but not preparing ourselves for when it occurs? Examine your life and assess where you need to be actively preparing for God’s move, instead of passively waiting for something to happen. Start planning today for your answered prayers.