Despite our greatest efforts, our authority, wealth, and power cannot compare with receiving favor at the hand of God. In Nehemiah’s case, God’s favor multiplied exponentially, resulting in Nehemiah’s finding favor with the king who granted him everything he requested. But there’s preparation to be done before favor becomes a reality. No doubt Nehemiah planned (and rehearsed) his entire request before he had the opportunity to speak with the king. Note that even when the king asked what he wanted, in an instant, before he responded, Nehemiah sent up a quick silent prayer to God!

What do you want? Sometimes we are afraid to voice our request…out of fear…out of seeming greedy…out of feelings of unworthiness…out of feeling our request is beyond God’s capacity to deliver. Never doubt God nor limit his ability to bless you beyond comprehension. The Bible tells us that God’s “power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3.20, 21) if we would ask, seek, knock (Matthew 7.7, 8). When you have had your audience kneeling in prayer before God, your king, and have found favor, it becomes much easier to stand in the presence of anyone.

Take the time to evaluate the needs of your city. When you pray, if God were to ask, “What do you want me to do?” are you prepared, as Nehemiah was, to give an answer?

When you receive favor at the hand of God, remember to acknowledge both the gift and the giver. Pray: Lord, thank you for your favor… a priceless gift that can only be obtained from you. Let me be a grateful receiver, and let me seek to share what you have given me with others.

Devotional based on Nehemiah 2:4-8

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