Then the king asked me, “What is your request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried, so that I may rebuild it.” Nehemiah 2:4-5 HCSB
Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors whom I had the privilege to meet at a conference several years ago. I enjoy the way he writes with such descriptive words. His latest book entitled “Before Amen,” explores the purpose and meaning behind prayer. Prayer does not have to be fancy with words that are difficult to pronounce. The point of the book is to remind readers that we all should always be a state of prayer, talking with the Lord, sharing our thoughts and concerns. Prayer should be as natural in our lives as breathing and talking. We should talk to God just like we would if we called an old friend just to talk. God is interested in everything we say and do.
When Nehemiah was faced with the opportunity to present his request before the king, he wanted to make sure he said the right thing. He spontaneously prayed to God while carrying on a conversation. Over the years of praying, he had developed an intimate relationship with God and he had a strong sense of being one of God’s children and friend. It was just natural for Nehemiah to pray to God. He did not say to the king, “I will get back with you.” His response was immediate but he wanted to make sure God was a part of every decision he made. Nehemiah sought wisdom and guidance as he responded to the king. Eight times in the book of Nehemiah we find that Nehemiah spontaneously prayed and sought God’s direction. I have sometime heard spontaneous prayers described as being “arrow prayers” that are quickly shot to heaven when we discover there is a need.
Challenge: Do you have a close relationship with God? Do you feel you can easily take everything to God in prayer? He wants you to freely and spontaneously bring your requests before His Holy throne. Spend time cultivating a close relationship with God so your prayers can be more effective. Consider reading Max Lucado’s book “Before Amen”. Visit Max Lucado’s website to learn more about Before Amen at https://maxlucado.com/audio/daily-audio/before-amen-challenge/ Listen to Alan Jackson sing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X35JDIdQF5A