When Nehemiah had prayed for the relief of his countrymen, he did not sit still and say, “Let God now do his own work, for I have no more to do,” but set himself to forecast what he could do towards it. Our prayers must be seconded with our serious endeavours, else we mock God. Your request should not stop at prayer altar but back up with necessary action, you must be ready to do your own part to get results. Before you pray, you must have watched to know what you can do and what God should do. Prayer is not a means to shift responsibilities to God, but to let God know that He needs to keep His own end of the bargain. Many people have lost their own harvest because they thought God should be the one to till the ground, plant the seed, water the seed and do the harvest.

Nehemiah now saw cause both to be sad and to appear so. The miseries of Jerusalem gave him cause to be sad, and his showing his grief would give occasion to the king to enquire into the cause. He did not dissemble sadness, for he was really in grief for the afflictions of Jerusalem, and was not like the hypocrites who disfigure their faces; yet he could have concealed his grief if it had been necessary (the heart knows its own bitterness, and in the midst of laughter is often sad), but it would now serve his purpose to discover his sadness. Though he had wine before him, and probably, according to the office of the cup-bearer, did himself drink of it before he gave it to the king, yet it would not make his heart glad, while God's Israel was in distress.

Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? We ought, from a principle of Christian sympathy, to concern ourselves in the sorrows and sadness of others, even of our inferiors, and not say, what is it to us? Let not masters despise their servants' grieves, but desire to make them easy. The great God is not pleased with the dejections and disquietness of His people, but would have them both serve Him with gladness and eat their bread with joy.

Nehemiah immediately prayed to the God of heaven that he would give him wisdom to ask properly and incline the king's heart to grant him his request. Those that would find favour with kings must secure the favour of the King of kings. He prayed to the God of heaven as infinitely above even this mighty monarch. It was not a solemn prayer (he had not opportunity for that), but a secret sudden ejaculation; he lifted up his heart to that God who understands the language of his heart: Lord, give me a mouth and wisdom; Lord, give me favour in the sight of this man. His prayer hit target, believers must know what they want and present their case before God with wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures.

Word Affirmation: “The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build." – Nehemiah 2:20 (Don't just say it, mean it!)

“Those that would find favour with kings must secure the favour of the King of kings."
Central Truth