In a previous post, I shared with you the “how” of a prayer lesson I learned from the Old Testament man named Nehemiah. Our ancient cousin taught me how to pray my way through my day with brief, pointed prayers.

Now I’d like to share with you what Nehemiah taught me about the “why” of praying this way. I see in Nehemiah three reasons why praying this way is a Bull Market paying rich dividends.

1.Praying your way through your day with brief, pointed prayers is PRACTICAL.  

Nehemiah was in a palace not a church. You would not have been able to eavesdrop on his prayer because he didn’t say it out loud. In fact, you could have been sitting next to King Artaxerxes and like his royal highness not even know Nehemiah was praying. He didn’t kneel or close his eyes or fold his hands in the prayer position.

Yet, he prayed! The point? You can pray this way anywhere . . . anytime . . . around anyone.

Practical, huh?

It’s not practical to kneel and pray in front of your boss when he asks you a tough question . . . or to say to a customer as you’re trying to make a sale, “Wait just a minute while I recite the Lord’s Prayer” . . . or to tell your OBGYN “Let me talk to my Lord before you begin your examination.”

But in each of those places and with each of those people, you can pray to the God of heaven.

Isn’t this a good reason for praying your way through your day?

2. Praying your way through your day with brief, pointed prayers is EFFECTIVE.

Like an acorn growing into an oak, little prayers are seeds for big blessings. Don’t you see that in Nehemiah? Artaxerxes said, “Yes!” to his request. Why? Because God said, “Yes!” to Nehemiah’s little prayer.

Get the message God wants you to get? God answers our brief and pointed requests.

Like he did for sinking Peter who prayed, “Lord, help me!” and was rescued by Jesus’ helping hand (Matthew 14:30).

Like he did for the father of the demon possessed boy who prayed, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” and saw Jesus serve the demon an immediate eviction notice (Mark 9:23-25).

Like he did for Jesus who on the cross prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” and was answered with over 3,000 converts on the Day of Pentecost (Luke 23:34).

Praise his name, what he did for Peter and that father and our Savior; he’ll do for us every day, all day long.

Isn’t this a good reason for praying your way through your day?

  1. Praying your way through your day with brief, pointed prayers is SOMETHING GOD WANTS YOU TO DO.

Here are a couple of questions for you:

Why does God tell us that Nehemiah wedged a Twitter brief prayer between a question and answer?

Why does God tell us that his short prayer brought a big answer the way a small quarter in a slot machine sometimes hits the jackpot?

Answer to both questions: Because God wants us to pray this way, too. The Lord shows us his willingness to answer these brief, pointed prayers because he wants us to pray this way.

Now, a third question: Why does God want us to pray our way through our day? Answer: Because he loves us and is eager to bless us with his presence and help.

That’s what Jesus is talking about when he says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13.)

I’m a father. Not as good a one as I’d like to be, but still, a father. With all my faults, I can still honestly say that I have always given gladly, freely, and generously to my children. If a father like me is generous with his children, won’t a Father like He is—perfect—be generous with His children?

In other words, isn’t His Fatherhood a grand and glorious invitation to pray our way through our day?

Mark Twain described golf as “a good walk spoiled.”

God doesn’t want our days to be good walks spoiled. Days of living like spiritual paupers instead of the King’s sons and daughters. Sahara Desert dry days with little joy…peace…power…closeness to God.

God wants every day to be birthday sweet by being filled with his company and help. That’s why through Jesus he invites us to “approach him with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12) every day, all day long by praying brief, pointed prayers.

A day filled with brief, pointed prayers will never be a good walk spoiled.

Thank you, Nehemiah, for teaching me how to pray and why.


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