Nehemiah #2 – How can you find God’s will with prayer and planning?

In Nehemiah 2, Nehemiah audaciously approaches the king with his plan, after much planning and prayer, recognizing that he ultimately answers to the King of Kings. Pastor Mark points out several key facts from this chapter, including the fact that vision requires provision, your confidence comes from your calling, and that, to lead others, you must follow the Lord.


Big decision?                          Season?                                  Pivot?

= Early marriage – A. Grace prayed   B. I planned

=Like a left & right foot in walk w/God

Nehemiah case study prayer planning

  • 141 years city in ruins (Jerusalem) & church/temple destroyed

Prayer: Nehemiah heartbroken – prays/fasts/journals 3-4 mo’s

Planning: strategic ($, legal, security, supplies, staff etc.)

=A. Prayer/Plan = my little part                   B. Purpose = God’s big plan

God uses misery for ministry (1:1-2)

I was in Susa the citadel…Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem.

A.    MISERY: Susa – capital Persian empire (3-4 mo’s weeping praying fasting)

B.    MINISTRY: Jewish – home Jerusalem/Zion (1000X Bible)

Some things are worth living for, or dying for (2:1-2)

2:1 I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid.

  • Cupbearer to Persian King Artaxerxes (slave? castrated? = yrs tested)
  • Before King & queen = joy!

=Burden givers. Burden lifters.

Pray for the message and the messenger (2:4)

the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.

1. Do I have to say it?                         2. When and where should I say it?

3. How exactly should I say it?           4. How will they hear it?

= Last Saturday. Silent prayer.

Your resources are in your relationships (2:3-5)

“Let the king live forever!…“If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.”

  • 13 yrs prior same request city/church rejected same king (book Ezra)

Pr. 21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will

Vision requires provision (2:6-8)

-12 yrs paid leave                               -Employees                             -Soldiers & horses

-Gov’t letters 900?-mi journey            -Lumber personal forest         -Personal residence

-Ruler of Jerusalem                            -King’s life risk (ruled 40 yrs)

= Ministry is spiritual & practical

Anointing is everything (2:8)

the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

= HS is the Father’s hand – 1. Protecting 2. Directing. 3. Helping 4. Blessing

When God acts, Satan reacts (2:10)

Sanballat…and Tobiah…heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

-Spiritual Warfare (unholy alliance)            -Enemy fire “over the target”

=Some saints need thicker skin

Your confidence comes from your calling (2:12)

what my God had put into my heart to do

1.Marry Grace (family) 2. Preach Bible (RF) 3. Train Men (RM) 4. Plant Churches (TC)

God’s Calling eliminates = 1. Laziness 2. Fear 3. Wasted effort (ladder wrong wall)


Confront the brutal facts (2:12-16)

I went out by night…I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire…there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall…the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing…

BIG: Wall 1-2.5 mi n; 3-4 ft thick; 15-20 ft high = burned gates, scattered stones

=Good leader/team = big mistakes w/bad info (WMD 10 yr war Iraq; COVID)

To lead others, you must first follow the Lord (2:17-18)

I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.”

  1. Glory for God – God’s hand is on us; King = miracle
  2. Good for God’s people (Jim Collins Level 5 Leader cares others most)


Negative narratives are normal (2:19)

But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”

·         Politicians: 3 surrounding governors = political battle religious freedom

·         Pain: The one who calls the shots must take the shots

=Negative Narrative – treason, crime, rich/powerful public men, open letters

If you engage, you will enrage (2:20)

I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”

  1. Praying to King Jesus             B. Planning for Jesus’ Kingdom

-King of Kings ruling New Jerusalem

-Comes from Heaven to Earth to =    A. Pray           B. fulfill the Plan

-Threatened to kill Nehemiah, did kill Jesus

-KING JESUS COMES – to Jerusalem, thru gates, past walls, into Temple

-Fulfils 1. Temple        2. Priesthood               3. Sacrifices = Place to welcome Person

TODAY – We Pray & Plan waiting for King Jesus to bring the New Jerusalem!

Rebuilding Home

  1. The plan
  2. The prayer
  3. The pockets
  4. The pledges

Oct 15-16 is Commitment Weekend! for details

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Mark Driscoll

It's all about Jesus! Read More