September 1

Nehemiah 1:2-4 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire." 4When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Ezra had been successful in restoring the temple and turning the people away from compromise, but the city was still vulnerable because the walls were in ruin. Thirteen years after Ezra's trip, Nehemiah heard the news from a relative, that the people were discouraged and living in fear because the walls were not restored.

Nehemiah immediately did what Ezra had done when he heard news that the people of God were in trouble. He wept, mourned, fasted and prayed. He took the issue straight to the One who could do something about it. Great men of God have a heart for the people and know where the answer to their need is found. His prayer follows a pattern we see throughout the Word of God. First, he adores God. It helps us to remember the omnipotence of the One to whom we are praying. He confesses his sins and the sins of his ancestors. Confession reminds us of who we are and our position of not deserving the kindness God pours out on us. Then he reminds God of His word. It is not as though God needs to be reminded, but it gives us faith to ask and the confidence that we are praying according to God's will. If you pray according to the Word of God, you know you are praying the right thing. Finally, he asks God for the favor of the king, because he is going to ask him for help in this matter.

Nehemiah was in a very trusted security position. He must have earned that position through years of faithful service and a display of integrity. Those years of commitment may have seemed to have had little impact on the Kingdom of God, but they led up to this one moment of influence.

Consider: God knows where He has you and why He has you there. Be faithful and He will use that influence in His time.