I love the fact that all day long we can be in a continuous conversation with God. There is a time for long, focused, thoughtful intercession. And there’s a time for those super quick requests because the circumstances don’t allow us to linger.
I read a really encouraging story in the Bible this week that inspired me again to grab every moment and fire off those nano-second prayers to God.
Around 430 B.C. Nehemiah was a servant of the King of Persia, Artaxerxes. Nehemiah had received some bad news and his face was giving it away to the king. Bear in mind Artaxerxes was a very powerful man, and Nehemiah was expected to put on a happy face regardless of his own problems. The King asked what was wrong and Nehemiah gave him the two sentence summary. This was possibly enough already to have Nehemiah ‘dispatched’ from the Kings court, but he wasn’t, and what happened next teaches us to pray on all occasions!
King Artaxerxes asked Nehemiah “What is it you want?” Now check out the course of events that followed (Nehemiah 2:4):
“Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king,”
In the moments between hearing the question, and the need to give a respectful reply, Nehemiah grabbed the nano-second to seek God’s help. This is what I’d call rapid response prayer. Turning to God in the blink of an eye and trusting He hears, or rather knows, and provides wisdom, instantly. This is very encouraging stuff for us. It’s OK, in fact it’s important to seek God really quickly and in those critical moments of your day. Around 460 years later another servant of God, and of Jesus Christ, James wrote this:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
“Asking God” can be immediate, quick, and wholehearted. Yes there are certainly times when we need to ask and ask, and wait and see. But the main idea here is that God is the generous One who loves to be asked and loves to provide wisdom. Nehemiah’s experience aligns with James’ advice – God answered. Nehemiah found wisdom, and favour in the King’s eye. The gracious hand of God was on Nehemiah (verse 8).
Are your days busy? Do you face challenging decisions? Do you long for Godly help in demanding conversations? Because God is gracious, merciful, and generous, He loves to hear your heart. Remember this today when your boss asks you a question!