THE ARROW PRAYER
Then the king said to me, "What do you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. (Neh 2:4)
We all know that prayer is the most basic aspect of the Christian life. From the moment we turn to Christ we are taught the importance of seeking God through prayer. We are encouraged to spend time in prayer and to keep consistent in this practice on a daily basis. But what about those times when you’re in the middle of your day and things are happening so fast that you wish you could take a few moments to get away and pray about a decision you must make, but you can’t? It’s time for the arrow prayer!
Nehemiah used the arrow prayer. He was serving as the Persian king’s cupbearer. Many Jews had returned to rebuild Jerusalem, but a report came to Nehemiah that things weren’t going so good. The people were in distress, the walls had been broken down, and the gates had been burned with fire. When Nehemiah received the news he prayed that God would do something. His heart was so burdened for his people that the king commented on how sad Nehemiah looked. He answered the king about the reality of his people’s condition back home. The king felt for Nehemiah’s situation and asked what he would request from the king.
Now Nehemiah didn’t have time to go into his room and pray. He didn’t even have time to think or construct a reply. It just says that Nehemiah prayed to the God of heaven. It was a short prayer from his heart to the Lord. In other words . . . he shot out an arrow prayer. And when he did, God gave him the words to reply to the king. And this reply was so full of wisdom you know it had to have come from the Lord. The king granted his request and Nehemiah began his journey to Jerusalem to help rebuild not only the walls of Jerusalem, but also the spiritual morale of God’s people.
No wonder the Bible says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17). This is one of the shortest verses in the Bible that kind of matches the fact that we can shoot out a short prayer in the time of “on the spot” need. So, the next time you need a quick response from the Lord, send out an arrow prayer. It’ll hit the target every time. And watch what God will do because you sought the Lord even in the tight spots of life.