In the book of Nehemiah, we are introduced to the writer as the cupbearer to the King. It may sound like a lowly position, but it was considered a high office. The King had to trust his cupbearer with his very life. Because of their trusted position, many cupbearers, such as Nehemiah, were able to exert political influence in the royal court.
Yet we know that Nehemiah was an ordinary man. Because of his obedience and faith, he became an extraordinary leader through his diligence in prayer and great faith in God.
When God called out to Nehemiah, the first thing he did was to sit down and weep (Neh 1:4), after having heard how bad things were back home. Many of us would have sprung into action and perhaps start to plan the best course of action to be taken and executed.
Nehemiah knew what it was to wait upon the Lord and the secrets of spiritual obedience. It is all so important to first be still and connect with God before we can be of use to Him according to His purpose.
Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful”.
Nehemiah is a great example for us now. The present world that we are in is getting worse by the day.
We must constantly pray for one another in the church and in our small groups as some are straying from the truth. We all face troubles and temptations in this world.
We are to pray in good times as well as in times of trouble (James 5:13) and temptation (Matt 6:13), so that we can rise above them and live lives worthy of the gospel (Phil 1:27). Through prayer, we carry one another’s burdens and can be used by God to restore someone who is caught in sin (Gal 6:1-2).
In seeking God through prayers, we remember whom we serve, think about God’s character and how He will lead and guide us. Our decisions and actions will then be God centred and led by God.
Prayer reminds us that if not for God’s grace, we will be spiritually deficient as we are frail, empty and sinful vessels who will go astray because of our pride, our self-assertiveness.
Pray before we even dare to venture out!