Hezekiah’s Second-Most Famous Prayer: Prayer as Petition

In the midst of a politically-charged year here in the U.S., it’s been interesting how fresh and contemporary God’s Word is to our present situation.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a passage of scripture I’d previously glossed over and God’s given me new eyes. Almost everyday the Holy Spirit reveals present-day applications related to the here-and-now. That’s our God—He makes new out of the old!  If we but have the eyes to see and ears to hear .  .

In Isaiah 37, I ran across the account of King Hezekiah when he got some bad news.

REALLY BAD NEWS. . .

Disaster was imminent.  Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent messengers to boast he would surely overtake Jerusalem as easily as he had defeated other cities of Judah. The Assyrian army was breathing down the Israelites’ necks, poised to lower the boom.

King Hezekiah’s response is what caught my attention.

Isaiah 37:14 says, “And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it, and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

Hezekiah petitioned God—he laid the terrifying situation at God’s feet.

He chose to trust in the LORD God to save them—instead of throwing on the battle gear and jumping into hand-to-hand combat.

This spoke to me. There may be times for marching into battle—with words, with confrontations. All great things at the appropriate times.

BUT this was a time where falling before God and seeking Him WAS the battle plan. PERIOD.

The pattern of Hezekiah’s prayer (vv. 15-20) is simple and direct:

 

First he praised God for being God Alone.  He ascribed power to Almighty God, as Maker of heaven and earth.

  • * Are you divided on Who/who your God/god is?  Who/what is the source of your confidence?

 

 Hezekiah then invited God to hear and see .  . .  to consider the blasphemous words of Sennacherib, who dared to speak against the “living God.” 

  • * Do you take offense at what is being proposed for America?  Does it make you fighting mad, or are you complacent about the possibilities?  You must match what politicians propose against Scripture.  God’s Word is ALWAYS our roadmap for living.

 

Hezekiah admitted the truth of the situation, that Assyria was a pretty powerful force. They had destroyed other countries in the past, and had burnt up their handmade gods with fire. Sennacherib bragged it was because their gods were not in charge.

  • * Have you admitted to God there is a problem, facing the reality of the situation?  Or do you choose to turn it off and stick your head in the sand?  Do you realize the critical crossroads where our country is located, right now?

 

Finally Hezekiah asserts, because the LORD God is the “living God,” Hezekiah boldly asked God to save them from the hand of this ungodly, unrepentant, disastrous ruler. That ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH may know He is “the LORD, You Alone.”

  • * Are you jealous for God?  Do you want, more than anything, for His Name and His Honor to be recognized?  That if God chooses to answer positively to this prayer, He supernaturally would receive all glory from it—and that no other explanation will suffice?

 

End of the story: Isaiah delivered God’s answer. Because God heard Hezekiah’s prayer,  Assyria was powerfully defeated.

Everything the Lord promised, He accomplished. Because of prayer, Israel went on as an intact nation.

Believer, would you petition God for our nation?

Would you lay it at God’s feet and give it the serious attention it deserves?

For our beloved United States, may we seek the Lord as never before. Not because of any warm, fuzzy patriotic red-white-and-blue feelings we harbor—but for the sake of God’s glory, alone.

Will you pray?

 

Lookin’ up,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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