The God to Whom We Pray
What’s your view of the Lord? Do you see Him as the One who can handle all the challenges you bring before Him? Nehemiah knew God in this way. Upon hearing about Jerusalem’s destruction, he mourned, fasted, and prayed for intervention. His supplication (Neh. 1:5-11) offers a glimpse of how he viewed the Almighty.
First, the Hebrew term Yahwehrefers to One who is absolute in faithfulness. Next, the title Elohimindicates infinite power and sovereignty over the universe. Finally, Adonaimeans “ruler over all.” Nehemiah was bringing his request before the throne with full confidence in God.
And the Lord answered his prayer in a powerful, dramatic way. As cupbearer in the palace, Nehemiah tasted food and drink first to protect King Artaxerxes from possible poisoning. For a servant in this position, to look sad was very risky (2:1), yet the terrible news disheartened him.
So the Lord worked a miracle: when the king asked what was troubling his cupbearer, Nehemiah expressed concern for the Jewish people. Instead of punishing him, Artaxerxes let him go to rebuild whathad been destroyed, and even supplied the materials! God handled what seemed like an overwhelming, impossible burden for Nehemiah, and He can do the same for us.
Having the right view of the Lord will allow us to approach Him with absolute confidence. And we know that He will hear and answer our prayers (Ps. 86:7). Remember that He is absolute in faithfulness and infinite in power. Our heavenly Father is the ruler over all.