I found it interesting that both Nehemiah 1 and 2 started with “In the month of…” So, I searched online and from the time Nehemiah gave his prayer in chapter one to the time he was ready to speak to the king was a span of roughly four months. This sets up what kind of person Nehemiah is in that he spent four whole months praying about something he was troubled by. I have a hard time remembering to pray about something on my heart for anything more than a week let alone four months. I greatly admire the faith that Nehemiah has in God that God will come through and bless him with the wisdom to discern and make the right choices.
To other people such as the king, the position Nehemiah held as cupbearer gives a little more information as to what kind of person Nehemiah is. A king’s cupbearer must be a highly trustworthy person since he is the one that tastes the wine before the king to make sure that it is not poisoned. Moreover, the cupbearer is often beside the king so he has many chances to offer his input to the king. Thus, we can see that Nehemiah is someone that the king trusts and someone who’s opinion matters to the king.
Even though we know Nehemiah is very capable of laboring long in prayer, he also reminds us that prayers do not need to be long to be effective in verse four:
4The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven…
In the midst of his conversation with the king, Nehemiah lets loose a quick “help me God” prayer which helped him to answer the king. His continual reliance on the wisdom God blesses him with helped him to prepare for his trip to Jerusalem to survey the city and the state of the wall. He makes sure to do his homework and gather intel before he informs others of his plan. At the close of the chapter, we can already see that Nehemiah’s decision to take action is stirring up opposition by some pretty high up people.