Beyond the Broadcast: Preparation for a Tough Job

While carrying his great burden for the people and conditions in Jerusalem, Nehemiah began the tough job of rebuilding the walls of getting on his knees in prayer. He asked God for compassion and understanding to come to the heart of King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 1:3–4, 11). In the second chapter of Nehemiah, we see God’s gracious answer to Nehemiah’s prayer, an illustration of Proverbs 21:1, and we gain insight into how we should handle a difficult boss or authority figure today.

Discovering the Way

1. A Principle from Proverbs (Proverbs 21:1)

The best tool to affect change in an individual is prayer.

2. Nehemiah in Persia (Nehemiah 2:1–8)

Though he desired to leave his post and answer God’s call, Nehemiah waited four months for God to move the heart of the king. Stepping out in faith involves prayer, planning, and patience.

3. Nehemiah en route to Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:9–11)

Because Nehemiah prayed and waited, God provided special blessings for his journey that he would have missed had he acted rashly.

Starting Your Journey

Nehemiah’s preparation for a tough job surfaces four important principles for us today.

  1. Changing the heart is God’s specialty
  2. Prayer and waiting go hand-in-hand
  3. Faith is not an excuse for disorder or failure to plan
  4. Opposition often reinforces the will of God rather than hinders it

Preparation for a Tough Job” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series Hand Me Another Brick: Timeless Lessons on Leadership. You can stream this message online anytime at