Nehemiah, Part 1

Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

Presence of mind is a great asset in critical situations. Travis Meyer demonstrated this ability to stay calm during a tense motorcycle accident. Travis was part of a group of bikers who took a ride on a sunny April day in Wisconsin. When one of the bikers ran over a dog that darted out into the road, it triggered a series of events that led to an extremely dangerous situation.

Trying to avoid the biker in front of him who had hit the dog, Travis laid down his bike at 50 miles per hour and began sliding into the oncoming traffic lane—as a tractor-trailer was bearing down on him! Travis had the presence of mind to push himself up and squirm his body out of the path of the truck. He survived!

Nehemiah also had the ability to stay calm in a tense situation. He not only kept his cool, but also took quick action in making a request of the king.

In his position as cupbearer to the powerful ruler, Nehemiah was supposed to keep a cheerful demeanour. One day he was caught off guard when the king noticed that he was not himself. Although he could lose his job, or be punished for his gloomy expressions, Nehemiah could not hide his feelings concerning the ruined state of Jerusalem. When he explained about how his hometown lay in ruins, Artaxerxes, the king, asked what he could do for him.

Though he was “dreadfully afraid,” Nehemiah had the presence of mind to say a quick prayer to God (Nehemiah 2:2, 4). The prayer must have been short because he could not keep the king waiting for very long. Soon after his heavenly plea he made the bold request that he be allowed to go and rebuild the city. The king agreed and the project was soon underway.

Presence of mind sometimes takes divine intervention, but it is also a reflection of the daily habits of a prayer-filled life.

Father, please help me to develop habits of frequent prayer so that I will always be quick to turn to You in times of need.

For Further Study: Neh. 2:1–8; 1 Thess. 5:17; Philippians 4:6

Daily Devotional Verses

“So, I prayed to the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 2:4). For Further Study: Neh. 2:1–8; 1 Thess. 5:17; Philippians 4:6

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