“… I pray…grant me mercy in the sight of this man [King Artaxerxes]…” (Nehemiah 1:11).
It took four months before God began to answer Nehemiah’s prayer, but he definitely wasn’t idle during this time!
During these four months, Nehemiah did more than pray; he planned. In Nisan, the king asked Nehemiah why he seemed heartsick.
“This is nothing but sorrow of heart,” said the king. “What’s bothering you, Nehemiah?”
“My hometown is in ruins,” replied Nehemiah.
Then the king asked, “What would you like to do?”
“So I prayed to the God of heaven. And then I said to the king…” (vv. 2-5).
Nehemiah’s request to King Artaxerxes was very specific.
- He told the king how long he would be gone
- He told him the building supplies he would need
- He requested a letter from the king granting him safe passage
- He requested another letter authorizing him to have access to the forest for lumber
“And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me” (v. 8). Not only that, but the King gave Nehemiah an armed escort back to Jerusalem!
Nehemiah prayed and planned, allowing God to determine the perfect timing. Nehemiah didn’t just pray and wait; he worked while he waited.
A mark of a godly leader is one who prayerfully plans his strategy.
My prayer—May all my plans be made with prayer to You for guidance. You know the best plans and the perfect timing, so I will pray and plan; plan and pray.
This is Part 4 in my series on godly leadership. To read my other posts, please click here.