They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” [But I prayed,] “Now strengthen my hands.” – Nehemiah 6:9 (NIV)
I have heard the phrase, “I don’t know what to pray for” a few times from my daughters. It is understandable since their world is still pretty small, but sometimes I find myself with the same problem. It isn’t always those deep prayers where the Spirit groans for me; just a normal day where I have forgotten the simple math of praying for what I need.
Nehemiah’s prayer is short, to the point and appropriate. There was nothing fancy about it and Nehemiah doesn’t invoke any big words to convince God that what is being said is REALLY important. He just prays according to the needs at hand.
Sometimes the journey toward holiness stays on track due to simple prayers. I hope I can help my children understand this and get it down deep in their hearts. They need to learn as soon as possible that prayer doesn’t need to be complex to be profound and meaningful. They need to know that God doesn’t grade their grammar or critique their prose, He just want a heart turned toward Him and dependent on His power, love and grace.
Lord, teach me the discipline of simple prayers. Help me to see my needs and the needs of those around me with honesty and hope. Give me the wisdom and words to shoe my children to pray simply to You for their needs. Amen.