Two Conversations At Once

The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?” With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied. Nehemiah 2:4-5a (NLT)

Ever had to have a really difficult conversation with someone? Maybe it was your boss and you wanted to tell them you were quitting or maybe you needed to share some really difficult news with a friend. Maybe you are a supervisor and you were assigned to tell one of the employees that they need to shower (trust me, that’s a difficult conversation.) What about having to console someone who lost a loved one or having to ask for something huge….like Nehemiah.

Nehemiah was captive in Persia. He had gotten word from a visiting family member that things in Jerusalem weren’t going so well. Immediately, Nehemiah started praying and asking God for favor. This happened in late autumn.

Early the next spring (apparently, Nehemiah had been praying all this time) he was serving as the King’s cup bearer and the king noticed his sadness. He asked what was wrong. Nehemiah explained everything that was going on in his homeland. And the King said “How can I help?”

What did Nehemiah do next? He prayed. Before he answered, before he suggested anything, he sent up a quick prayer to God. What exactly that prayer was, we don’t know but I can imagine it was something like “Lord, give me the words.”, or “God, work this out.”, or “Father, help me not get killed.”

He was having a conversation with God while he had a conversation with the King. And God responded. King Artaxerxes granted his request to go home and helped.

In a quick Google search, we average 22-27 conversations a day. Think of all the impact we have each day on a life around us. We should be pulling a Nehemiah and praying as we go through each one. You never know how the God of Heaven will work in your life and in others’ lives if you let him lead.