The God to Whom We Pray
What’s your view of God? Do you see Him as the One who can handle every challenge you bring before Him? Nehemiah knew the Father in this way. On hearing of Jerusalem’s destruction, he mourned, fasted, and prayed for intervention.
For a glimpse into how Nehemiah viewed the Almighty, let’s look at his supplication. Notice that in verses 5-11 of today’s passage, Nehemiah addressed God in different ways. For example, he first used the name Yahweh—a term that means “I Am” and indicates One who never changes. Then he referred to the Lord as Elohim, a name that speaks of sovereignty. In presenting his request, the prophet chose language that indicated his full confidence in God.
And the Lord answered that prayer in a powerful, dramatic way. As cupbearer in the palace, Nehemiah tasted food and drink first to protect King Artaxerxes from possible poisoning. For a servant in this position, to look sad was risky, yet the terrible news disheartened him (Neh. 2:1).
The Lord worked powerfully: When the king asked what was troubling his cupbearer, Nehemiah expressed concern for the Jewish people. Instead of punishing him, Artaxerxes let him go to rebuild what had been destroyed and even supplied the materials! God handled what seemed like an overwhelming, impossible burden for Nehemiah, and He can do the same for us.
Having the right view of the Lord will allow us to approach Him with absolute confidence. And we know that He will hear and answer our prayers (Psalm 86:7). Remember, He is absolute in faithfulness and infinite in power. Our heavenly Father is the ruler over all.