Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hezekiah's prayer

Read Isaiah 37:14-20.  King Hezekiah was in desperate need of help.  He had received a letter from Assyria that "reproached" the living God.  Assyria was threatening to attack.  Can you imagine what he must have been going through?  He looks at his neighboring nation of Israel in the North and see Assyria completely demolish them.  War and famine are at his door step.  I'm sure he felt alone, surrounded, beat up.  And where does he go?  to thetemple of the Lord.  What does he do?  Lays the letter down in front of the Lord.  It's like he was saying "I have no idea how to respond to this.  I don't know where to turn, or what to do.  There's no way for me to defeat what's going on in my life.  The only thing I can do is lay this at God's feet."  Now read his prayer.  "O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of 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 listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God."  later on he says, "Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand that all kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, Lord, Are God."

Basically in other words he's saying, "God I know that you are King, I know you are in control.  You were powerful to create the world and I know you're powerful to defeat what's going on in my life and the bad things around me.  Lord, hear my prayer, open your eyes and see what's happening.  People are turning their own way and doing their own thing as if flinging it in your face.  Lord, deliver us.  Deliver us so that other's may know that it was only You, in Your Power that got us out of this mess, and by doing so, may others turn to know you as their God."

I know sometimes we're at a loss of words, and it seems like we don't have any more prayers left.  Or that we're not being heard.  And yet, here's a prayer for us also to pray.  And maybe, if it helps, we write down all the things that are coming against us on a piece of paper, so we actually have something tangible to turn over to God and lay at his feet.  It can serve as a reminder that truly God is in control, He does care, He does listen, and He is all powerful and will work through our messes.

*written for a dear friend

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