Nehemiah 2:1-6 (NIV)
1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before;
2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid,
3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven,
5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
How would you like to have the order to go before the president of the United States and tell him that you want him to finance the return trip of the Jews from America to Israel? To even think of such a thing would be the height of lunacy. Yet this is precisely what Nehemiah was told by God to ask the king of Persia.
Nehemiah was a man who was responsible for making sure that the king was safe from all those who would seek to do him evil. He tasted all the food that was set before the king and all the drinks that he was to drink to make sure they had not been poisoned.
For the cupbearer to the king to look sad in the presence of the king would be one of two things. Sadness perhaps because he was attempting to overthrow the king by poisoning, and he was afraid of being caught, or the sadness of the heart because of some grief that he was currently going through.
Note that the king did not even entertain the first option. He knew Nehemiah and trusted him with his life. When Nehemiah appeared before him with a sad countenance, the king knew it could only be because of sadness of heart.
Nehemiah sees the door opening. He had just prayed according to God’s promise that if God people confess their sins and repent, He would return them to their land even though they had wandered very far away.
The king asks Nehemiah what is it he needs. Nehemiah quickly consults with God with a very brief prayer, and then he answers the king. Think of it saints, a quick prayer to God was enough to answer a king and ask him to finance the return of God’s people to the land of Israel. What boldness, what sheer confidence before an earthly king. How is it that Nehemiah receives such courage?
He had met with the King of the Universe, so speaking to any earthly king was no problem. If we be would better at speaking with our Heavenly Father, we would have less trouble speaking to any earthly potentate.
While you are praying and fasting today, look carefully for the promises God has given you to claim for our church, your family, our culture. Then be bold in praying for those promises to be fulfilled in our day.
Now go out and pray boldly and then speak to those without Christ confidently.