Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 262

A Holy Purpose, September 13

Nehemiah 1

O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, ... and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Nehemiah 1:11.

Nehemiah, one of the Hebrew exiles, occupied a position of influence and honor in the Persian court. As cupbearer to the king he was admitted freely to the royal presence.... Through this man ... God purposed to bring blessing to His people in the land of their fathers....

The Hebrew patriot learned that days of trial had come to Jerusalem, the chosen city. The returned exiles were suffering affliction and reproach.... The work of restoration was hindered, the temple services were disturbed, and the people kept in constant alarm by the fact that the walls of the city were still largely in ruins....

Nehemiah had often poured out his soul in behalf of his people. But now as he prayed a holy purpose formed in his mind. He resolved that if he could obtain the consent of the king, and the necessary aid in procuring implements and material, he would himself undertake the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem....

Four months Nehemiah waited for a favorable opportunity to present his request to the king.... He had a sacred trust to fulfill, in which he required help from the king; and he realized that much depended upon his presenting the matter in such a way as to win his approval and enlist his aid. “I prayed,” he said, “to the God of heaven.” In that brief prayer, Nehemiah pressed into the presence of the King of kings and won to his side a power that can turn hearts as the rivers of waters are turned.

To pray as Nehemiah prayed in his hour of need is a resource at the command of the Christian under circumstances when other forms of prayer may be impossible.... In times of sudden difficulty or peril the heart may send up its cry for help to One who has pledged Himself to come to the aid of His faithful, believing ones whenever they call upon Him. In every circumstance, under every condition, the soul weighed down with grief and care, or fiercely assailed by temptation, may find assurance, support, and succor in the unfailing love and power of a covenant-keeping God.20Ibid., 628-632.

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