In The Moment
Today's reading: Nehemiah 2:1-8
After praying and mourning for days, Nehemiah continues to be grieved over the condition of the city of Jerusalem. So much so that when he comes to serve King Artaxerxes his wine, the king takes note of Nehemiah's sad appearance and inquires about what is troubling him. It's a bit of a scary situation for Nehemiah (remember, Nehemiah is a low ranking servant for the king), but Nehemiah pushes forward and makes the most of the situation. He has already been fasting and praying for days prior to this incident, so when the king asks him what is wrong, Nehemiah humbly and respectfully tells the king about the horrible conditions in Jerusalem. The king could have concluded the conversation at this point, but he doesn't. Artaxerxes continues the dialogue by asking "What are you requesting?" (vs. 4).
What we read next, caught my attention in a BIG way. The final part of verse 4 says, "So I prayed to the God of heaven." It's only a few words placed in the middle of many details, but it's a critical sentence because it puts before us an example of complete trust in and reliance on God. Nehemiah was in a delicate situation in which he needed God's guidance. So in the middle of talking with the king, instead of responding based on his own thoughts, he shoots up what I call an "in the moment" prayer--a brief but important conversation with God when we're faced with making an immediate decision and we need direction, guidance and protection. I'm a huge proponent of "in the moment" prayers. I utilize them often and God responds mightily, as He did for Nehemiah. Immediately after his short prayer, Nehemiah boldly asks the king to send him to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall, and even asks for letters of approval, lumber for construction and a house to live in during the rebuilding process. God's favor is with Nehemiah, and the king grants every request.
Is it your practice to shoot up prayers to God throughout your day? How do "in the moment" prayers impact your mindset and focus? How are they of benefit to you? Tami
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