Pray Then Speak, Neh 2:4-5

In Neh 2:4-5, when the king asked Nehemiah to make his request, Nehemiah prayed and then he spoke.  This is the proper order when making a request, answering a question, or confronting someone.  Pray then speak.  Too often we react too quickly and speak first, without praying.  

Nehemiah had already been praying for several days for the Lord to grant him mercy in the sight of the king, Neh 1:4-11.  Nevertheless, when the king gave him opportunity to speak, he prayed again and then he spoke.  You always want to remember this order.  Pray then speak.

In Est 4:16 Esther fasted and prayed for three days before she presented herself to the king.  And then, in Est 5:3-4, after the king favored her by lowering his scepter, and gave her permission to make her request, Esther spoke.

In Ps 77:1, Asaph recorded that he had cried unto God.  In Ps 78:1, he then spoke to God’s people and recounted their history so that they could tell it to the generations to come.  Notice, Ps 77 was his prayer to God.  Afterwards, he wrote to the people.

This pattern holds true in the New Testament, as well.  In Acts 4, the disciples were threatened with severe punishment if they refused to stop preaching Jesus.  So they gathered together and prayed to the Lord asking him to give them boldness to speak, in spite of the threatenings.  

And following their instructions from Jesus in Matt 11:19-20 and Lk 21:14-15, they didn’t think about what to say and they didn’t meditate on how to defend themselves.  Instead, they trusted the Spirit of God to give them a mouth and wisdom to speak.  

How often do we waste, even hours, mulling over what to say, meditating on our conversations, and rehearsing our lines.  The disciples didn’t do this.  They prayed

Therefore, in Acts 4:31, they were filled with the Holy Ghost and they spoke the word with boldness.  Do you see?  You pray then you speak.  When you pray, the Lord will give you the words to speak and the boldness to speak them.  How much better this is than to blurt out some foolishness from a scared or wounded heart.

Conclusion: We have received from God’s words a simple instruction that we should follow.  Pray then speak.