1. WEEPING, FASTING, & PRAYER ARE PROPER RESPONSES TO SERIOUS SIN.
Nehemiah 1:4,7 - "So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven...'We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.'"
When one weeps, fasts, and prays, it shows that the individual is soft-hearted and trying to stay in-tune with God's will; this is always good. Is there a better response that Nehemiah could have manifested? I don't believe so. We would do well to shed more tears, deny our bellies food, and pour out our hearts to God when we come face-to-face with iniquity or its dreadful consequences (whether ours or someone we know).
2. INTERJECTION PRAYERS ARE APPROPRIATE.
Nehemiah 2:4 - "Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven."
Although the point may be a minor one, here is an example of what might be called an "interjection prayer." It is not a long, formal prayer to the Almighty, but a short sentence or two burst where one makes a quick and simple request or petition to deity, while in the middle of doing something else. Nehemiah did precisely that here as he is in Xerxes' presence and is asked a question by the king. Before answering, Nehemiah prayed quickly to God. This, in my view, is one way in which Paul's command to "pray without ceasing" can be fulfilled practically today (cf. I Thess. 5:17).
3. TO USE POLITICAL INFLUENCE & RESOURCES FOR GOOD IS NOT WRONG.
Nehemiah 2:7,8 - "Furthermore I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.' And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me."
Ultimately, followers of Christ are citizens of the kingdom of God, but that is not to say that using political influence and national resources for a good purpose is wrong in some way. Yes, it is true that we are not to be of this world, but it is also the case that we pay taxes, are represented in government, and are to be wise as serpents (cf. Matt. 10:16). God opened up an opportunity for Nehemiah, and he was wise to take advantage of it for good.
4. REAL LEADERS PLAN & THEN INSPIRE OTHERS TO ACTION.
Nehemiah 2:13,17,18 - "And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire...Then I said to them, 'You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.' And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king's words that he had spoken to me. So they said, 'Let us rise up and build.' Then they set their hands to this good work."
What an amazing leader Nehemiah was! He analyzed the situation and then communicated the problem and solution effectively. And then, he further inspired action by working right along beside them.