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Nehemiah 2:1-10

Talks for Growing Christians

Nehemiah's Prayer Answered

Nehemiah 2:1-10

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Lesson Number 3

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God does not always answer prayer requests immediately.
  2. God always answers prayer requests in time.

Practical Application

  1. Our short prayers should be backed up by our prayer lives.
  2. Let’s walk through the doors that God opens for us.

Questions

  1. What was Nehemiah’s reaction when the king asked about his sadness? Why did he react this way?
  2. What did Nehemiah do when the king asked what he wanted?
  3. Besides asking to go to Jerusalem, what did Nehemiah request? Why did the king grant Nehemiah’s petitions?
  4. Who were Sanballat and Tobiah? Why didn’t they want the walls rebuilt?
  5. How long did Nehemiah pray before an opportunity came to speak to the king about rebuilding the walls in Jerusalem?
  6. Is answered prayer solely God’s responsibility?

Answers

  1. He was afraid. No one was to show sad feelings before the king. Also, Jerusalem was not a popular topic. King Artaxerxes had stopped earlier attempts to rebuild Jerusalem (see Ezra 4).
  2. He sent up an “arrow” prayer to the Lord before he answered the king.
  3. He requested letters of permission to pass through the region beyond the river to Judah, and for timber from the king’s forest to make gates, walls, and his house (verse 8). The king was pleased to send him (verse 6), and the good hand of the Lord was upon him (verse 8).
  4. They were enemy officials from surrounding Persian provinces. They resisted the rebuilding of the walls lest Judah become a stronger province than theirs.
  5. Four months (compare the dates of Nehemiah 1:1 and 2:1)
  6. No. It is both God’s responsibility and ours. God will direct and provide as we walk through the doors that He opens.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Do you believe that God answers our prayers? What are some of His answers? Why doesn’t God always answer our prayers immediately?
  2. Discuss the answer to Nehemiah’s prayer in light of Daniel’s prophecy. Refer to Daniel 9:25.

Challenge

  1. Recall a time when God opened a door for you, but you didn’t walk through it. Confess this omission to God. Recall a time when God opened a door for you, and you did walk through it. Praise God for giving you this opportunity. Recall a time when God closed a door that you wanted opened, but you were thankful later on for that closed door. Give thanks to God for His infinite wisdom.

Key Verses

  • “The good hand of the Lord was upon me.” Nehemiah 2:8

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