A cupbearer to a king is one of the most trusted officials – the king trusts him with his life every day. There were a number of Iranian kings called Artaxerxes. Without its walls, Jerusalem was open to every bandit raid on its inhabitants by the bikie/camel gangs of the day from the surrounding non-Jewish tribes.
“And the king said to me, ‘What are you requesting?’ So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, …'” v4-5
How important is prayer!
And what a great little window into the practical nature of prayer that Nehemiah applied.
He prayed in the middle of a conversation!
Perhaps it was a close of the eyes, or a bow of the head for a moment. But he prayed at the critical junction point, after the king had asked him a weighty question.
It’s a wonderful encouragement to us in our prayer lives. Be about prayer!
Nehemiah has previously spent more time in prayer (ch 1), bringing his concerns and petitions to the Lord, remembering who the Lord is and what He has promised.
And here in this little window, we see him actively praying in important activities.
What an encouragement!