2 KINGS 19:14-19 – 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. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.”
THEME OF THE DAY. WHAT IS OUR GOAL? Today’s scripture is the prayer of King Hezekiah. To really appreciate it, take time and read 2 Kings 18 up to this prayer. The nation is in trouble. The king feels it. The people feel it. Fear is abounding. They are being threatened by the godless and ruthless Assyrians. This foe was no joke. They were powerful and horrendous in their conquering ways. And the King of Assyria had set his lust for power and control on all the cities of Judah. What does Hezekiah do? He prays. Actually, he pours out his soul. Go back and read his words. He pleads to his God for deliverance from this enemy. But notice how he does it and what is ultimately the goal in his prayer. These two things are great lessons for us to put into our practice of prayer.
First, amid overwhelming fear and trial, King Hezekiah starts his prayer focusing on who God is, not crying for immediate help. He proclaims God’s sovereignty; His unrivaled authority; and His unconquerable power. Friends, here is where we must begin all prayer – remembering who God is. This is the pattern of Biblical prayer. We are to remind ourselves in tough circumstances and situations to first recall who our God is, not what He does. In doing so, we see how big He is. This knowledge fuels our confidence to bring our petitions to Him knowing He is capable to deliver us from whatever.
The second lesson from the praying king is learn what his goal was for God answering his prayers. It wasn’t deliverance for deliverance sake or personal comfort. Look how Hezekiah ends his prayer – So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone. What a right praying perspective and insight. The king prays that God’s display of power to aid His people was so all peoples, even the attacking Assyrians, would know the One True God. Wow! This is important. Everything we go through in life is for this end – that God would be known. That includes our praying. If we learn this, we will begin to see more self-denial, less selfish living, and more closeness with our God in our lives. We will be on our way of discovering that life, all of it, including prayer, is never about us, but always about Him – knowing Him and making Him known.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see that the end of all things, including my prayers, is that people will know You.”
QUOTE: “God makes much of Himself in us so that we make much of Him in our spheres of influence.”