Nehemiah spent four months praying. Seeking God’s comfort in grief and sadness. Praying for God’s forgiveness and mercy on His people. Remembering God’s faithfulness and the promises He had made. He spent four months in contemplative prayer, but in the moments before making a request to a king who did not serve Nehemiah’s God, he prayed again. And God responded with an incredible display of His faithfulness and favor for Nehemiah.

I love Nehemiah’s example of spontaneous prayer.

Nehemiah proved to be a man of God who wasn’t restricted to praying during his daily “quiet times” or just before falling asleep at night, but rather one who exemplified Paul’s charge to believers to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He displays for us the intimacy of his relationship with God through this brief moment of prayer.

I once heard a pastor ask his congregation what a relationship with a spouse would look like if we only spoke to them once or twice a day. Maybe once in the morning or at night.

What if we didn’t share brief moments of conversation with them throughout the day, but rather reported to them how our day had gone and what we needed from them? I wasn’t married at the time, yet I found it easy to see how difficult that might be.

When we continually pray to our God, we experience depth in our relationship with Him that we might not otherwise. Not only that, like Nehemiah, when we take a moment to pray before we speak, before we walk into a room, as we grow anxious in the middle of a conversation, we experience God’s favor.

God, through the power of the Holy Spirit:

  • gives us wisdom and words to speak
  • softens the hearts of those around us
  • gives us the courage and boldness we need
  • brings peace and calm to our anxious hearts

God desires for us to commune with Him daily and constantly, to lean on Him in any and every moment.

Friends, God is an accessible God.

Nehemiah knew this. No private room, no rituals needed. He knew that God would hear his prayer and trusted Him to provide for his needs at that moment. The same is true for us today.

We invest in the depth and intimacy of our relationship with God when we spend time both in contemplative prayer and spontaneous prayer with Him. And the more my days are filled with both types of prayer, the more I’m able to rest assured that the “good hand of my God [is] upon me” (Nehemiah 1:8).


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Cristin Tippin

Cristin Tippin

Cristin is a native Texan but calls the Midwest home with her husband and sweet golden retriever, Harvey. One of Cristin’s favorite indoor hobbies is finding the best coffeeshops to enjoy! She also loves the outdoors and going on hiking adventures with her husband and pup. Cristin deeply loves the Lord and has a passion for helping women learn to study God’s Word so that they can fall more deeply in love with Him.

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