Nehemiah describes the same time period as Ezra. Ezra is more of a spiritual leader, while Nehemiah is more political. Ezra is concerned with the Temple, while Nehemiah is concerned with the city walls.
Nehemiah is in Susa, the capital of Persia. He learns that Jerusalem is still in shambles. Nehemiah prays that God will help him to be part of the solution.
There is much to be learned from Nehemiah’s pattern of prayer. He spends most of his prayer acknowledging Israel’s failures and God’s faithfulness. He only adds his actual request at the very end. He is setting the stage for the opportunity he hopes will come later, but understands he and his people do not deserve God’s favor.
When we have a concern, how do we pray? Is it lots of praise for God and only a brief request or the other way around? Do we ask for God’s help on an ongoing basis or pray only when we get into a difficult spot?