“Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.
(Nehemiah 1:11 NIV)
Nehemiah served as a cupbearer to the king of Persia. However, his thoughts still dwelt on his beloved homeland, Jerusalem. Therefore, when the report came that Jerusalem was in a terrible condition, Nehemiah sat down and cried. Then for numerous days, he mourned. He went without eating to show his sorrow and prayed (Nehemiah 1:4). Nehemiah prayed that God would grant him favour with the king when he served him his wine that day, and God did. The king allowed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that God controls the hearts of men, including kings, “In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him” (Proverbs 21:1). I love Nehemiah’s prayer and I’ve often adapted it when dealing with situations that required God to soften the hearts of the people involved, so that they were willing to cooperate. Keep Nehemiah’s prayer in mind the next time you need God to grant you favour with someone.
The hearts of men are in God’s hand.