O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. – Nehemiah 1:11
The concluding verse of Nehemiah’s prayer continues to beg for mercy from the Almighty.
God is not obligated to hear the prayers of anyone, even His own people. So, Nehemiah begs God to listen. However, there is a joy in knowing that God does hear our prayers and He delights to bless us when we seek His help in prayer! He blesses not out of obligation to us but out of pure love and compassion for His children.
Nehemiah also says that Israel desires to fear God’s name. He is pleading for that spirit of repentance necessary to bring about true change. It is only when we see how powerful God is, that we understand how merciful He is toward us.
Finally, Nehemiah asks for mercy for the job he was about to perform. Remember, he is part of the “secret service” protection squad for the king. His job as cupbearer was to prevent the king from being poisoned. He was close to the king and he is about to look and act a lot differently than he had before. Nehemiah knew that if the king suspected anything amiss that he would not only not listen to Nehemiah, He could have him banished from the court or killed.
As you reflect on this entire prayer, notice the humility. Mark the spirit of begging that Nehemiah uses when praying to a Sovereign King. And then realize something that is absolutely awesome. God answered his prayer!
What wondrous love is this, O, my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul;
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
- Voluntary Servitude (nehemiahpb.wordpress.com)