Read Nehemiah 2.
Someone defined success as when preparation meets opportunity.
Nehemiah poured out his broken heart before God. He fasted and continued to pray for God to:
1. Give him success
2. Grant him mercy before the king
He was spiritually prepared. He was praying for the opportunity.
Being a slave, any displeasure from King Artaxerxes could have meant dismissal or even death. But he went back to work and trusted God to do what he could not do. God can direct the hearts of leaders. The king noticed his countenance and asked what was wrong. Nehemiah was ready. Very succinctly and to point, he stated his case.
This would not have happened if Nehemiah had not been a loyal and faithful person at work. This, also, played into the preparation for this moment. Though a slave, obviously the king cared for this man and was even eager to help him.
More preparation would be needed as there was opposition awaiting him. How would he handle them? He had not seen the extent of the project. How would he organize the work? He had not told the local leaders about his purpose for being in Jerusalem and the written authority he had from the king. How would he connect with them and engage them for the work?
He prepared himself spiritually, continually casting his dependence upon the LORD for help. Step by step he prepared himself and others to achieve the work ahead.
When the opportunity came to inform the leaders, they said, "Let us rise up and build." The opposition laughed at them. Nehemiah replied, "The God of heaven will make us prosper."