The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven.
Nehemiah is a man of prayer and this verse records one of the most interesting prayers in the Bible. We aren’t given the words that are offered up in prayer and we don’t need them.
This quick prayer is in the middle of a conversation with the king. It was silent and it was right before responding to the king’s question. It could only have amounted to a few words – “Lord help me,” “God, give me success” – something along those lines.
Nehemiah had already spent much time in prayer about this issue. Whatever God had decided to do about the situation had already been decided and one more prayer wasn’t going to change His mind.
Instead, this prayer is more for Nehemiah. It is a matter of calming him down by praying to God. It is his way of reassuring himself that God is with him. By praying to God, he is reminding himself that God has already heard his prayers and he draws strength from his very short conversation with God.
Not all prayers are meant to be short prayers but all prayers don’t need to be lengthy either. We aren’t heard because of the length of our prayers but simply because we cry out to God for help.