podcast

#703 – Humble Courage (Nehemiah 2:4–5)

Pray The Word
Nehemiah
2
4-5
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“The king said to me, ‘What is your request?’ So I prayed to the God of the heavens, then I said to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your presence, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ burial sites so that I may rebuild it.'”
(Nehemiah 2:4–5)

I love the humble courage that we see in Nehemiah right here. Nehemiah hears in Nehemiah Chapter One that the walls of Jerusalem are broken down, the temple has been rebuilt in Ezra but the walls are broken down. Gates burned with fire, so they’re in shambles and he mourns and fasts and prays to God and asks for the restoration of God’s people in that city, and then he knows he can be a part of leading out in the rebuilding of those walls but he knows in order to do that, as cup bearer to the king, he must go in the king’s presence, very similar to Esther, and it would be a risk of his life to ask for permission to go leave the citadel here and to go to Jerusalem and rebuild these walls.

May God give us grace to be obedient to Him, even that which is difficult. We pray for humble courage in total dependence on Him.

In this moment when the king says what is your request, this is the moment where Nehemiah is pretty literally sticking his head out, and so it says, the Bible says so I pray to the God of the heavens. I love this, right before he speaks to the king, we get this picture of him. I can just almost picture him looking up, it’s one of those kind of flash prayers like, “God please help me, here goes,” and then he speaks to the king and asks for permission to go and I just think humble courage. Humble courage. Courage to stand before the king but humility before God, knowing that success in this matter is totally dependent on the hand of God.

I pray for humble courage like that in my life. I want to pray for that for you. That we would have courage to do all that God calls us to do, to go, do, be, everything that God calls us, to go, do, and be, but that we would do it in total dependence on him. Just constantly looking to him. I just think about on a daily basis. I want to live with these kind of flash prayers. When I’m stepping out, I’m about to share the gospel, I look up to God. God, please help me, and please use this.

Just a real quick prayer. God, as I take this step of faith, please help me, in this way or that way. God, we pray for a humble courage like this. I pray for this in my life, and I pray this in each person who’s listening to this right now. God, we pray for a humble courage. For courage to do all that you call us to do and just seeing this over and over and over, reading your word this year. Noah did all the Lord had commanded him to do. Moses and Aaron did all the Lord commended them to do. David did all that the Lord commanded him to do. God, we want it to be said of us that we did all that you commanded us to do. May that be true of us, that we did what you commanded us to do, that we were courageous, even when you call us to do difficult things, hard things, we pray for courage and we pray for humility in that which is total dependence on you.

God, help us. Help us to see today. I just think about things you’re calling me to do right now in my life. You’re calling others to do in their lives. They’re not easy. Help us to do them. With our eyes constantly looking up to you, just flash prayers before you. God, help us, help me in this way, help us in that way. God, we pray for humble courage as we do all that you command us to do in total dependence on you. May that be true in our lives, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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