Pray Without Ceasing
The king said unto me, For what dost thou make request?
So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Read Nehemiah 2:1-4
In history, men often wore some kind of cap or hat which they removed when
they entered God’s house. However, during the week they often wore their
caps from early morning until late at night. As a result, the saying became
popular that males often prayed more with their cap on than with their cap
removed. But, the removal of one’s cap or hat as they entered church did not
guarantee that the prayer made by these individuals was genuine.
However, when people send a heart-felt cry to heaven during desperate circumstances
they may not have had the opportunity to remove their cap and
to seek a private place. That’s actually what we see in the second chapter
of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was busy serving the king, but the tragic circumstances
that overcame Jerusalem affected him so deeply that it was obvious
that he was troubled.
In those days, when anyone was involved in the king’s service, they were expected
to perform their tasks in a pleasant, cheerful way. A sad countenance
before the king could bring about the death sentence. In ancient times a
person could fall into the disfavor of a middle-eastern ruler for the slightest
reason, so Nehemiah had never stood in the king’s presence with a sad
countenance. On this occasion, however, the king noticed that something
was bothering his personal attendant and adviser. When he asked Nehemiah
why he was downcast, God’s prophet was filled with fear.
Thought: Do you ever send up spontaneous prayers throughout the day?
Psalter 222: 3,5 (based on Psalm 81)
I, thy God, removed thy burdens, When thou calles, set thee free,
Proved thee in the thirsty desert, In the thunder answered thee.
I am God the Lord Who saved thee, And from cruel bondage freed;
Open wide thy mouth of longing; I will satisfy thy need.