Nehemiah’s Tiny Prayer

Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”–Nehemiah 2:4-5

“So I prayed to the God of heaven”. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “This was a prayer of a remarkable kind. I know it was so because Nehemiah never forgot that he did pray it!”

This had to be a small under-the-breath type of prayer. It may have been a split-second prayer. It occurred between the time that the king asked a question and Nehemiah delivered his answer. You don’t want to keep the king waiting! Some folks call this an “arrow” prayer. You only have enough time to shoot up one arrow.

Why was this tiny prayer included in this story?

  1. To encourage us to always pray, even in short spurts! I love this statement because it gives me great confidence! God values tiny prayers. This passage looks like me. Everytime the phone rings, I deliberately glance upwards. This is my way of asking God to help me with whatever potential situation (good or bad) I’m about to confront. I also say, “Lord have mercy” several times during the day. People may think I’m being funny, but I’m actually praying outloud. It’s not a vain mumble, but a quick burst from the heart.
  2. This type of prayer is a part of that whole “pray without ceasing” command. This is how you do it. Nehemiah is continually keeping an open line of communication with God.
  3. It shows clearly that although Nehemiah was about to receive provision from the King, Nehemiah knows that his provision is ultimately from God. This is why he talks to God first before answering the King. Nehemiah shows what is in his heart by his actions. It may have been a whisper like, “God help me” or “Thank you Lord”.
  4. The walls of Jerusalem were restored one stone at a time, both big and small. BUT, in the spiritual realm, the people of God were restored one prayer at a time, both big and small. Small prayers count! Facebook prayers matter.

What was the result of all of Nehemiah’s prayers?

And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.–Nehemiah 2:8

What can happen when we don’t recognize God in the things provided to us?

And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.–2 Chronicles 16:12-13

So whether your prayers are big or small, God is there to hear them all.


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