Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.—Nehemiah 2:4
Did you know the Lord can move the heart of a king? Or a prime minister? Or a president? The Bible says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1).
The Bible tells the story of Nehemiah, who was cupbearer to the king of Persia. A cupbearer tasted all of the king’s food in case someone was trying to poison him. But in reality, Nehemiah was more than that. Being in such close proximity to the king, the cupbearer would end up being a counselor to the king. So the position of cupbearer became one of great influence. And someone in that situation wouldn’t have wanted to do anything to jeopardize it.
Nehemiah, however, was a Jew. He had heard about how the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins, and his heart went out to his fellow Jews. He thought that perhaps God had put him where he was to do something good for his people. Yet to approach the king and incur his disfavor could cost him his life.
As Nehemiah pondered all this, it made him sad. The king noticed this one day and asked Nehemiah why he was depressed, so Nehemiah explained what was bothering him. Then the king said, “What do you request?”
I love what happened next: “So I [Nehemiah] prayed to the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 2:4). No doubt it was one of those prayers on the fly, the kind you pray when you’re suddenly summoned to the boss’s or principal’s office. Nehemiah prayed, and the Lord moved the king’s heart.
We need to pray for those who are in authority over us. Pray that God would help them make the right decisions and guide and lead their steps.
Radio Program: “Good News in a Bad World — I”
TV Program: “The Nonbeliever’s Favorite Verse”
Bible Reading: Joshua 18-20, 1 Corinthians 9
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Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.