“The king said to me, ‘What is you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 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.’”
Insight: Nehemiah is looked at as one of the great examples in Scripture of godly leadership through difficult times and I think the secret to his effectiveness is found right here in these verses. Before Nehemiah answered the question he had been waiting to hear from the king, he “prayed to the God of heaven”. Throughout the entire book of Nehemiah, we see that his pattern was to be quick to pray and to pray first. Nehemiah didn’t have success because he had incredible leadership skills, he had success because he consistently sought God before making important decisions. He recognized that favor comes from God alone - not any man or king.
Prayer: Father, help my first response to always be to come to You. Instead of plowing ahead with my ideas and plans, I want my habit to be to seek You first. Like Nehemiah, teach me to seek You even while in the midst of situations. May You be my first thought, not my afterthought.