Nehemiah 2:4-5 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king.
This is a perfect example of what has been called a “telegram prayer.” However, with current technology it might better be called a “prayer tweet.” The idea is the same in either case: a brief, emergency prayer, basically along the lines of, “Help!” The thing is, God hears those prayers too. However if that’s the only kind we pray, we don’t have much of a relationship with the One to whom we are praying. Nehemiah was obviously a very devout believer, very familiar with as much of the Bible as he had. We tend to forget that the people recorded in the Bible didn’t have the Bible to read themselves! We have the luxury of the full Bible, giving us a wealth of instruction and inspiration and admonition, teaching us the heart and ways of God. Taking it lightly is the greatest foolishness. Nehemiah was in a unique position to teach him about prayer, because he was a close, and obviously trusted, servant of a very powerful monarch. He knew what King Artaxerxes could do, even on a whim, and he knew that the God of heaven was even more powerful. He related wisely to Artaxerxes, but but his true allegiance and dependence were on God. We too deal with all sorts of people, some of them very powerful in this world’s sight. (The really powerful ones we generally relate to only at a great distance, and/or by proxy.) We must never think that any human individual, or, for that matter, any government or nation, is more powerful that our Creator, who loves us enough that He sent His Son to die in our place so that we might have life in Him. When we have a right relationship with our Creator, nothing can shake us because we are “seated with Him in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 2:6) From that position, every prayer, short or long, is heard instantly.
This is something I know but I’m still learning. This morning a song by a friend who was one of my daughters’ teachers, Tim Johnson, has been running through my mind: “Believe in the dark what you know to be true in the light.” There’s a lot of truth in my head that is still “on the way” when it comes to being in my heart. I am continuing to grow in my relationship with my Lord, but I’m no more “there yet” than Paul was. (Philippians 3:12-14) I too need regular reminders, which is why this habit of morning devotions is so vital to me. Prayer comes easily and naturally to me, but I must never take it for granted, much less downplay its importance. The purpose of my existence is wrapped up in the God who created me, so without question the wisest course for me is to be in a close, obedient relationship with Him.
Father, thank You not only for this reminder, but also for making it clear what I’m to share this coming Sunday. I ask for clear guidance and anointing as I prepare those notes, so that everyone who hears, both in person and electronically, may be drawn into a closer relationship with You, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!