“What is it that you want?”
That is a crucial question in determining your calling. You may recall Jesus asking similar questions during his ministry. I recall that in the gospel of John chapter 1 there are some folks following him and he turns to them and says “What is it that you want?” In Mark 10, Jesus ask James and John, “What do you want?” In John 5 to the man at the pool of Bethesda, he asks them, “What do you want me to do for you?” So, what is it that you want?
John Eldredge writes about this, saying, “Desire, both the whispers and the shouts, is the map we have been given to find the only life worth living.” 
So, what is it that you want? What are those desires inside you, not your sinful fleshly desires, but your God-given desires, your holy ambitions, that point you toward God’s CALLING for your life?
What is it that you want? That’s a key question during the waiting phase.
The Courageous Phase
So what’s Nehemiah’s next move, how is he going to answer that huge, loaded question? Will he speak up or get tongue tied? And if he does speak up, what will he say? Well, I love what it says in the text:
“Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king,”
(Nehemiah 2:4-5, NIV)
Now, before we even get to his answer, look at this verse, I absolutely love this verse in the Bible. Isn’t this such a Kodak moment? Just picture the scene right here, the King asks him this awesome question, and right before Nehemiah answers, he takes a breath, braces himself, and pauses briefly to spontaneously pray, to the God of heaven.
Whenever something really big happens in our lives, there is always a brief moment before that major event takes place. It’s like “the moment before the moment.” Most of you have experienced a moment before the moment.
You know what I’m saying, it’s like when you’re expecting an important phone call and then the phone rings, there’s a moment there. Or, it’s like that moment you’re up to bat and the pitch is coming and you’re deciding if you want to swing or not. There’s a moment there. Or it’s like when you’ve applied to a school, and then the letter comes in the mail, and then you pause briefly right before you open it. there’s a moment right there.
Those moments are filled with anxiety and there’s nerves like crazy. It is a very introspective time, it’s a psychological moment. It’s almost like in those moments life happens in slow motion.
Now, right here Nehemiah offers what you’d call an “Arrow Prayer.” It’s not a long prayer, this is one of those short one-sentence prayers that you offer up to God. This is when you need your prayer to be answered fast. And this is a quick one, this prayer is not sent on UPS ground, or even next day air. This is an urgent sky telegram sent straight to heaven because Nehemiah needs God to answer immediately. “God please help me, right now, here goes nothin”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a last minute decision on Nehemiah’s part to start praying and seeking God, no, no, no, remember, he had already prayed long in private, and even fasted, and waited for God to move, for 4 months!
Nehemiah was fully prayed up, This is just one last chance to send up one more prayer to God, before he let it fly. So, deep breath, short prayer, and here he’s going to make his request, take a look:
“If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
(Nehemiah 2:5, NIV)
 John Eldredge (2007). “Desire: The Journey We Must Take to Find the Life God Offers”, p.13, Thomas Nelson Inc