March 1, 2021
Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 2:4 ESV
In the previous chapter, when Nehemiah learned of Jerusalem’s razed state, he responded with a sincere prayer of contrition and confession. Grieved with the news, he could not hide his sadness before Artaxerxes. But to appear before the king with a depressed countenance was a risky move. Ancient rulers would often dismiss or even execute servants if they displeased them. Thankfully, the Spirit of God was protecting and guiding Nehemiah. So when Artaxerxes asked Nehemiah why he was sad and what was it that he wanted, Nehemiah wisely sought the Lord in prayer regarding how to respond.
The takeaway: pause and pray. If we need more time to pray and discern God’s wisdom pertaining to an issue, then we are better off postponing the conversation. It will save us from unnecessary heartache.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling