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June 3 – Prayers answered 

“And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.” – Nehemiah 2:8

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 2:1-8

Nehemiah spent about four months in fasting and prayer, asking that God would give him success in the presence of the king. Then one day the opportunity came. King Artaxerxes asked Nehemiah why he was so troubled. Nehemiah wasn’t sure of what he should say; he did not want to come across as a traitor to Artaxerxes and the kingdom of Persia, but his heart was in the work of God, in Jerusalem.

When the king asked Nehemiah what he wanted, Nehemiah knew God was working in Artaxerxes’ heart. One more prayer to the “King of kings who reigns in heaven”, and Nehemiah brought the entire shopping list of things he would like King Artaxerxes to provide. Artaxerxes had nothing to gain by funding this endeavour, but it pleased him to give even more than Nehemiah had asked. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord: he turns it wherever he will.”

We face a new week. Living as citizens of heaven in this world seems like an impossible task. But take comfort, for God will not neglect His work, nor His people. We feel small and powerless, but will we cling to the God of heaven, the King of all kings? We don’t always know if our plans will succeed, and we do not know what the Lord will do. But take comfort that the hand of God is good, and it will not fail.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Lord will work in the hearts of leaders and those in authority over us. Pray that you can boldly serve the Lord with grace and truth, knowing His hand upon you.

 Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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