A Moment of Prayer
“The King said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of Heaven.” Nehemiah 2:4
Nehemiah was crushed to hear of the terrible condition of the Jewish exiles and of Jerusalem itself. When he asked those who came back from Judah, they said Jerusalem was in great trouble and disgrace… the walls were broken down and the gates burned. As he served in captivity to the King of Babylon, his countenance was low and sad because of the news he just received about his homeland. King Artaxerxes asked Nehemiah what he wanted to do. Nehemiah’s response was amazing. Before he answered the King, he prayed to the God of Heaven. Now the King required an immediate answer, so Nehemiah’s prayer could not have been long and all encompassing. His prayer had lasted only seconds. But that moment of prayer changed his life and the course of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah’s prayer was short, but faith filled. In that critical moment, he looked to God because so much was at stake. There was no time to get away, no time for meditation, no time to read the word… only a brief moment to pray and yield all to God. Because Nehemiah already had a prayer life, it was so natural for him to respond to the King’s question by a moment of prayer. His short prayer was probably between his breaths but he knew God would hear him and be there… and direct him. And as quickly as he prayed, that is as quick as the answer came. The King would give him permission to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild. In that same moment that Nehemiah prayed is the same moment that God touched Artaxerxes heart… and the future of Nehemiah and Jerusalem would ever be changed!
Thank God for nights of prayer and prolonged time with God in prayer. But sometimes, our prayers can be for just a second, a moment, and a breath. As long as we come to God, seek him, have faith in Him and ask him for what we need trusting Him… he will always hear us and always answer us! Some of my most desperate and effective prayers have simply been crying out His holy name, “Jesus”! That moment of prayer can lead to a lifetime of blessing!