Today’s Scripture: Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 2:4

When you choose to be bothered about a situation and you want to do something for God, the most important first step you can take is to pray about it. Nehemiah received the heartbreaking report from Jerusalem, and so the first thing he did was go to God in prayer.

“And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant…” (Nehemiah 1:5-6)

Nehemiah started by confessing his sin and the sin of his people. He called on God’s mercy. He was so bothered by this situation that it showed on his face when he appeared before the king. Apparently, Nehemiah had such a good testimony before the king that when he was troubled, the king instantly saw it.

Now what do you do when the king asks you what is happening? Do what Nehemiah did: send up the “flare prayer”. Nehemiah did not take the time to get on his knees at this point; he had already done that. But he sent up a quick prayer, most likely, “Lord, give me the right words to say.”

This is absolutely the right thing to do. I have done it many times. Once while on a mission’s trip to Fiji, we were handing out Bibles to all the students at a Hindu school. The head of the school came to me and said, “We do not want you to just give out the Bibles, we want you to explain the Bibles to the students.”

What an opportunity! I was about to give the gospel to hundreds of Hindu schoolchildren, and I definitely sent up a flare prayer that day!

Christian, you do not necessarily have to spend hours on your knees. It is just as important to have a constant mindset of prayer and communication with the Lord.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.