The Praying Man Is Not On The Bench

O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king. — Nehemiah 1:11

Today, we finish exploring the four C.O.R.E. elements of Nehemiah's prayer by focusing on Entrusting our Plans to God.

  1. Connecting With God.
  2. Owning Our Sin.
  3. Recalling God’s Faithfulness.
  4. Entrusting Our Plans.

So, this is where Nehemiah finally takes action on his prayer. Sometimes, when we are in a critical moment, we fire off these sudden prayers and ask for God's direction. Other times, we spend months ruminating on Scripture and direction before taking the right action. Both prayers are needed—sudden prayer with quick action and steady prayer with cautious action.

But here's the point: Prayer and action are linked. Godly prayer is always linked with Godly action.

Getting practical, Nehemiah was about to take his faith, belief, and prayed-up convictions straight to the top of the workplace. Nehemiah's role as a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes was a position of significant responsibility and trust in the Persian court. Here are three critical aspects of his role:

  1. He Was a Trusted Advisor: The cupbearer was often close to the king and had the opportunity to be a trusted advisor. This proximity to the king meant that the cupbearer could influence decisions or gain insights into the king's thoughts and plans.
  2. He Guarded the King: One of the primary duties of a cupbearer was to protect the king from poisoning. This meant tasting the wine and food before serving it to the king to ensure it wasn't poisoned.
  3. He Held High Status: Serving as a cupbearer was not just a menial task but a high-status position. It indicated that the person was trusted by the king and often involved in courtly matters beyond just serving wine.

In Nehemiah's case, his position allowed him to request King Artaxerxes' permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild its walls—a pivotal moment in Jewish history. His proximity and earned trust were instrumental in the success of this request.

Nehemiah's actions should challenge believing men today. Too often, men of faith act timidly, staying silent in matters of faith. This behavior is a key reason behind many issues we see in the world. I often hear Christian men and men's groups in coffee shops express their bafflement at the state of the family, church, workplace, and world, questioning how things became so disconnected from biblical values. The reason is clear: Godly men have been passive and silent. We've failed to disciple our children, address indoctrination in schools, correct false teachings in the church, and counter unscriptural agendas in our countries.

Reflect on Nehemiah, a man who risked his life by pairing prayer with action. He didn't just pray; he took bold steps.

So, if you're feeling a bit ashamed today, it's time to start acting. Pray and act. Pray and act. Pray about your marriage, and then act in a loving way. Pray for your children and then act by discipling. Pray about your job, then serve with integrity. Perhaps, one day, God will place you in a situation where you're ready to pray a bold prayer that could risk your head being removed from your body, and then watch to see if God doesn't work through you in ways beyond your imagination. Remember, there is no man living, not even the king of Persia, who is greater than our God. What we need today are more Godly men who actually believe this.


Nehemiah's story shows a deep connection between prayer and action. Reflect on your own life: In what areas are you currently seeking God's guidance through prayer? How can you follow Nehemiah's example by coupling your prayers with concrete actions, showing your faith in God's guidance and providence?

Nehemiah's position as a cupbearer required immense trust and responsibility, yet he used it to serve a greater purpose. Discuss a time when you were in a challenging or influential position. How did you use your faith to guide your actions? What lessons can you learn from Nehemiah's example about using your position or influence for God's glory, especially in difficult situations?

DO THIS: Pray and act on one thing today.

PRAY THIS: Father, guide me to pair my prayers with bold actions, just as Nehemiah did, and use my influence and position to glorify You and serve Your purpose. Grant me the courage and wisdom to act faithfully, reflecting Your love and guidance in every step I take. Amen.

PLAY THIS: Do Something.

short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

5 thoughts on “The Praying Man Is Not On The Bench

  1. Eddie says:

    I used to think that praying for something to happen while doing nothing else was action. How naive of me, but I also had not read through the Bible and was not actively, or even passively, pursuing Jesus at the time. Now that I am actively reading the Bible and connected to multiple local churches, I am trying to be the salt and light of Jesus to EVERYONE I meet. I am not and will not be 100% successful, 100% of the time, but as Micheal Jordan said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Nehemiah was in a VERY influential position because of his personal integrity in how he lived his life up to that point. He responds to bad news as any of us would, he grieves for what he has lost, but he grieves in a way that honors God, and that is where most Christians miss the mark today. They are so concerned with society and how the world will respond to their actions that they completely forget to think how God will respond to their actions. God, please help me to come to You FIRST in everything, not because You are going to fix everything, and certainly not how I want it fixed or in my time frame, but because You want ALL OF US to submit everything to You and live in a way that honors You. Amen.

  2. Daniel Frank Witte says:

    I’ve enjoyed your shorts for some time now. It’s uplifting, which cause creativity in my thought processes.
    Thank you

  3. Tom Fredericks Sr. says:

    Correct Todd! Thanks Vince.

    How man hours will be spent in front of the television screen today watching football (NO eternal value), rather than actively BEING about our Father in Heaven’s people and purposes? I cringe and respond when I hear and ruminate in Jesus’ words in Matthew 15:18. It’s time men! NO more excuses!

  4. Mike Heller says:

    Our young men’s gathering called “T@P House” Leaders will be with you in March!
    Let me know how we can help spread the word and assist in your recruiting. We look forward to getting together!! 🎶MIKE🦅

  5. Todd Hansen says:

    Powerful, Vince. Maybe even life-changing for many of us.
    It’s easy to think that action might be more important than prayer, or that prayer might be a replacement for action — but you have pointed out that they are two sides of the same coin, and neither are effective without the other. We are tempted to sit passively on the sidelines lifting powerless prayer, or charge prayerlessly into the battle and wonder why God seems distant; neither the hearing nor the doing of the word is expendable (James 1:22) God, grant that your men see prayer and action the way you do and work in us to be neither passive nor foolhardy, but prayed up and all in!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *