Pastor Thomas Costello spoke on Nehemiah 2:1-9. He talked about the time when Nehemiah asked the King for permission to go and rebuild the wall. Pastor Thomas gave us five things to think about when we need to ask for something.
- Don’t go in with guns blazing.
- Be authentic
- Share the vision, or the why, of what you’re asking.
- Pray quickly
- Ask with confidence.
Artaxerxes Sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem
2 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, 2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”
I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 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 ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
7 I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? 8 And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. 9 So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.
Questions for Further Thought and Discussion
- The message this week was more a practical one, giving us guidance when we need to ask for help or influence someone in our lives. When has the Bible been of use practically in your life in the past before?
- Have you had experience going before someone in your own life to ask something really difficult? How did you handle it? How did it go?
- When you have faced a big decision, did you take the time to pray and even fast, or did you make it when you were in a high or low emotional state? How did it work out for you? Would you change anything?
- When Nehemiah is before the King and about to ask his big question, he says a quick “Breath-prayer”, Pastor Thomas calls it. Have you ever used this in your own life? How do you think your life would be different if you prayed small prayers more often?
- Are you facing a big decision or need to ask for something big in your life that your group can pray for? Share your own story with your group!