How do you make important decisions?

5 09 2007

How do you make important decisions?  I thought about this today when I read the passage of Nehemiah 2:1-9.  Nehemiah wanted to rebuild Jerusalem, but was in a situation which required much caution.  He was the king’s cupbearer, and if he said something out of line, he could be fired and possibly put to death.  So he was being very careful.  When the king had noticed Nehemiah’s sadness, Nehemiah explained that his father’s city was in ruins, and here’s what happened next, in verses 4-5 :

The king said to me, “What is it you want?”  Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, …

Notice how between the question and the answer he prayed to God, so he would be certain to say the right thing.  He had been praying and fasting about the situation for several days already, yet he still requested guidance right before he spoke.  This is a good example of how a prayer doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out session in private (although there are times for that, too).  Nehemiah wanted to be sure he was in God’s will, so he petitioned God for direction before answering the king’s question.  And his situation worked out really well — the king granted his request and even gave him official letters to help him get past the neighboring governors on the way to Judah and to get wood from the king’s forest, and the king even provided army officers and cavalry to go with him.  That was a huge blessing!

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