This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:
"Scripture: ‘And the king said: "What is it you want?” – I prayed to the God of Heaven’ (Neh: 2, 4)
"May the Lord help us not to start anything, not to undertake anything, not even to answer a question, without first turning our soul to the Lord! We constantly have to regret something we have said without thinking. How much we would pay sometimes to take it back when it is already too late, and the harm has been done!
"For a long time Nehemiah cherished in his heart the wish to go to Jerusalem, to his impoverished native tribe. One can imagine how he thought about this day and night, how he considered the possibility of achieving this, how he fervently prayed that the Lord would inspire the king to utter the long-desired words! All this concern which oppressed him was probably clearly reflected in his face and was noticed by king Artaxerxes, who wanted to console him. However, Nehemiah needed first of all and most strongly to act according to God’s will, even with regard to something which seemed necessary to him. He did not reply to the king’s question immediately, but prayed to the God of Heaven and then, strengthened by this prayer, internally asking for the consent of the One who was above all earthly kings, he revealed to Artaxerxes the reason for his sorrow and the burning desire of his heart.
"Let us fervently desire that the Lord let us know His will in all the circumstances of our life. Let us submit to Him alone all our aspirations, and may sincere, fervent prayer always be at the heart of our every deed and word.
"Let us turn our minds to the Lord every time we are faced with making a decision. And no matter the inclination of our personal desire, let us first of all seek the will of God, being completely ready to renounce our will if necessary. Only then can we hope that our deeds and words will not be lost, but will bring the desired fruit for eternity.
This description of praying to God brought to mind Lucy’s encounter with Aslan in “Prince Caspian”:
“Lucy woke out of the deepest sleep you can imagine, with the feeling that the voice she liked best in the world had been calling her name….’Lucy,’ came the call again….A circle of grass, smooth as a lawn, met her eyes, with dark trees dancing all around it. And there – oh joy! For he was there: the huge Lion, shining white in the moonlight, with his huge black shadow underneath him….’Aslan, Aslan. Dear Aslan,’ sobbed Lucy. ‘At last.’…
’Welcome, child,’ he said.”
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)