Nehemiah must have prayed long and hard before he approached the king with an unusual request; to be authorised to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah had been most upset on hearing of the state of the city, and took it to God in prayer. He realised, as the king’s wine steward, he would have the opportunity to speak to the king about it, but there was no way of knowing how the king would react.

It was an audacious request, as the king had little or nothing to gain from the rebuilding of Jerusalem, or its walls.

In Jerusalem Nehemiah soon met opposition and difficulties, but took each problem as it arose to God in prayer, and the wall was rebuilt in just over seven weeks.

Nehemiah’s mission in going to Jerusalem was to rebuild the walls, but soon found God had a lot more work for him in that city, as he spent two terms there as governor, and dealt with a wide variety of issues.

Nehemiah does not appear to have been especially gifted, nor was he visited by angels, or given supernatural guidance by way of visions or dreams. In this respect he was probably similar to most of us.

He did however have a willing heart, a burden for the welfare of God’s people, and a solid prayer relationship with his creator. God can always make use of such people.

Ian Carlson