Answered Prayer

Scripture: Nehemiah 2:1-10

Topics: Identity, Patience, Prayerfully Dependent

Study Guide

In a season of waiting, Nehemiah trusts God and anchors his heart in prayer for God’s people. When he encounters an opportunity to take action, Nehemiah boldly asks the king for help and receives what he needs. His identity as God’s servant enables him to be patient, humble, and dependent while zealously pursuing God’s mission.
Application
  1. We find that Nehemiah has been waiting and praying for three to four months before his audience with the king. This time of prayer changes him. Evaluate your personal prayer life. What steps can you take to grow closer to God through prayer?

  2. Our personal ministry has two sources of input—divine and human. If we overemphasize the divine side, we can be tempted to remain passive. If we lean too heavily on the human side, we may do too much or take action on the wrong issues. Which way do you lean? Why?

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  3. Take some time to look over the Outreach Serving Tools. After working through your individuality, concerns, and opportunities, where do you think God is calling you to further his mission here on earth? What will your next step be and to whom can you be accountable?

Key Points
  • Nehemiah has been prayerfully waiting for months after hearing of the plight of his people in Jerusalem. He knows that he cannot control his situation, but he does put himself in a position to take advantage of the opportunities God brings him.

  • Just as Nehemiah focuses his energy on building up God’s people, so must we be constantly working to move God’s mission forward.

  • Artaxerxes is a powerful king; however, God is truly in control. Nehemiah is oriented to God’s empire, which gives him boldness when he asks the king for help.

  • Nehemiah both trusts God and takes action. This is how we elevate God’s spiritual empire while living in this earthly empire.

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  • Our identity in God’s empire should affect how we think and what we do in this earthly empire.