by: Peter Alcivar
Nehemiah 2:4-5a (NLT) The king said to me, “What is it you want?”Then I prayed to the God of heaven,and I answered the king…
As followers of Christ, one of the things that we must learn is to turn to God for all of our needs. When something unfortunate happens to us or when we find ourselves in some kind of need, we usually try to figure things out on our own or look for someone who we think will be able to help us out. After we do these things, some think of praying. It’s almost like we say to ourselves, “Oh yeah, I guess I should pray as well.” But many don’t even think about praying for their needs. They just live their lives doing the best that they can with the wisdom that they have. No wonder we get ourselves into so much trouble. We don’t know how things will turn out and what solutions will work, but we take a chance anyway. Jesus didn’t go to the extreme lengths that He did in coming down to earth to die for our sins so that our relationship with the Father would be restored just to then leave us to figure life out on our own. He cares about you and me greatly and His will is for us to run to Him for everything.
Nehemiah was a man who sought God and who was a man of prayer. But what is so, so different about Nehemiah’s prayer above is that it was in real time. In other words, the passage of scripture above is telling us that the king asked Nehemiah a question, and as Nehemiah was answering it, he was praying! Nehemiah was leaving nothing to chance. He didn’t even want to give an answer to the king without having God direct his words. How is it possible to pray in a moment’s time like that? First, it takes a mindset of total dependence on God. For Nehemiah, prayer must have been so normal for him that he could even do it in the milliseconds that he had before he answered the king. He either did it under his breath quickly or perhaps just prayed in his mind. Since God knows all things and even knows what you are thinking, you can pray to God that way as well when the situation warrants it. In any case, Nehemiah teaches us something so valuable here and that is that God is available to us in real time. Nehemiah didn’t have to say to the king, “Uh, time out king. I have to go do something (pray) before I answer you.” All he had to do was either whisper a very quick prayer or pray in his mind right before any words came out of his mouth. The Bible teaches us that God is near to those that are near to Him. Obviously, Nehemiah was very near to God and not only was he able to breathe that quick prayer, but as a result, he was granted much favor by the king. The king gave Nehemiah everything that he asked for because God caused it to be so.
Oh that we would learn to depend on God like Nehemiah did! He shows us how to depend on God in real time as things are developing and happening right in front of us. What would our lives look like if we lived that way? Jesus is as close as the mention of His Name and if you breathe His Name, He is already there. If you breathe a prayer seconds before you need Him, He is already there and will guide you through whatever your need is. God is available in real time. Be wise and look to Him at all times and for all things for security and success.
Pastor Joey Vazquez