Quiet Time Coaching Episode 492 | New Thing Series — Part 47 | “Nehemiah’s Arrow” | Malcolm Cox

A new thing! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to your daily devotional podcast anchored in Isaiah 43:19: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’

We are currently looking at God doing a new thing in the life of Nehemiah. Today we explore Nehemiah’s ‘arrow prayer’.

“…the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors’ graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said to the king…” (Nehemiah 2:2-5 NRSV)

Nehemiah has been praying for months. Now the moment has arrived. The king asks him what he wants, and Nehemiah takes a moment to pray — presumably in his head. Then he speaks with great discernment, wisdom and courage. This brief in-his-head prayer is sometimes called an ‘arrow prayer’.

Nehemiah’s Arrow

  • He waits for the right time to make his request to the King
  • He is consistent in prayer between the time when he heard the bad news and when he has an opportunity to do something about it. The time between his first prayer and this prayer is about four months.
  • When given the opportunity to speak, he first pauses to pray. It is his habit to pray.
  • He trusts in the power of prayer even if it is only a few seconds long
  • His prayers have put him in a position of readiness to seize the opportunity when it comes to act boldly — almost without forethought.

For Reflection
Much of our impact for God and his kingdom depends on courage. Think of the bravery of the early disciples who were routinely scattered, attacked and imprisoned. Consider the courage of the people who reached out to you, those who planted the church in which you now worship, and those who serve at great cost to their comfort. And then, of course, contemplate our Lord Jesus whose courage led him to empty himself, take on our flesh, suffer with us and die for us. How do we find the courage we need? We find it in the presence of Jesus who we can approach with confidence because we know that he wants us in his company, and to hear our prayers.

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12 NIV11)

Why not determined to approach God confidently in prayer and ask him to supply you with the awareness to offer arrow prayers at appropriate moments in your day?

I hope you find your heart, your life, your congregation and your world inspired by God doing a new thing. Until tomorrow, take care, and God bless.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License