Ever heard of, and please excuse the term, ejaculatory prayer? It was the short, sincere, internal prayer of Nehemiah as he fearfully made a request to the Persian king.
“Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it” (Nehemiah 2:4-5)
This is a powerful weapon at the Christian’s disposal and a great way to converse with our Heavenly Father throughout the day. It’s what the Apostle Paul referred to as “praying without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Jonathan Edwards used to pray this way frequently and in some ways it became as natural as breathing. Charles Spurgeon also recommended this “excellent style of praying”:
“1. To deal with this matter practically, then, it is the duty and privilege of every Christian to have set times of prayer.
2. But now, having urged the importance of such habitual piety, I want to impress on you the value of another sort of prayer, namely, the short brief, quick, frequent ejaculations of which Nehemiah gives us a specimen. And I recommend this, because it hinders no engagement and occupies no time. It requires you to go to no particular place. No altar, no church, no so-called sacred place is needed, but wherever you are, just such a little prayer as that will reach the ear of God, and win a blessing. Such a prayer as that can be offered anywhere, under any circumstances. The advantage of such a way of praying is that you can pray often and pray always. Such prayer may be suggested by all sorts of surroundings.
3. These prayers are commendable, because they are truly spiritual. This kind of prayer is free from any suspicion that it is prompted by the corrupt motive of being offered to please men. If I see sparks coming out of a chimney I know there is a fire inside somewhere, and ejaculatory prayers are like the sparks that fly from a soul that is filled with burning coals of love to Jesus Christ. Short, ejaculatory prayers are of great use to us. Oftentimes they check us. Bad-tempered people, if you were always to pray just a little before you let angry expressions fly from your lips, why many times you would not say those naughty words at all. The bit of offering these brief prayers would also check your confidence in your self. It would show your dependence upon God.
4. Besides, they actually bring us blessings from heaven. I believe it is very suitable to some persons of a peculiar temperament who could not pray for a long time to save their lives. Their minds are rapid and quick. But if I must give you a selection of suitable times I should mention such as these. Whenever you have a great joy, cry, “Lord, make this a real blessing to me.” Do not exclaim with others, “Am I not a lucky fellow?” but say, “Lord, give me more grace, and more gratitude, now that Thou dost multiply Thy favours.” When you have got any arduous undertaking on hand or a heavy piece of business, do not touch it till you have breathed your soul out in a, short prayer. When you have a difficulty before you, and you are seriously perplexed, when business has got into a tangle or a confusion which you cannot unravel or arrange, breathe a prayer. Are the children particularly troublesome to you? Do you think that there is a temptation before you? Do you begin to suspect that somebody is plotting against you? Now for a prayer, “Lead me in plain path, because of mine enemies.” Are you at work at the bench, or in a shop, or a warehouse, where lewd conversation and shameful blasphemies assail your ears? Now for a short prayer. Does sin begin to fascinate you? Now for a prayer — a warm, earnest, passionate cry, “Lord, hold Thou me up.” And when the shadow of death gathers round you, and strange feelings flush or chill you, and plainly tell that you near the journey’s end, then pray. Oh! that is a time for ejaculation. “Hide not Thy face from me, O Lord”; or this, “Be not far from me, O God,” will doubtless suit you. “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” were the thrilling words of Stephen in his extremity.”
( C. H. Spurgeon.)