The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and
I answered the king
, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has
found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my
ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” (Nehemiah 2:4,5 emphasis mine)

There it is. Cushioned between the king’s question to Nehemiah and Nehemiah’s response. A breath prayer.

A quick spoken or unspoken prayer to the God of heaven. 

It’s easy to befriend to the breath prayer, and we should. “Lord, give me discernment.” “Help me know what to say, Lord.” The Father leans in for the whispers of His children.

While breath prayers are a privilege (as is all prayer), we see that Nehemiah’s breath prayer was drawn from a four-month reservoir of prayer and patience. (Neh. 1-2:2) Kelly Minter refers to this as the “prework of prayer.”

Nehemiah befriended the breath prayer but he did not depend on it as his only means of communicating with the God of heaven.

And the blessings of this dependence continue to unfold throughout our study in Nehemiah.

How will the blessings from our time with the God of heaven unfold this week?