Thursday, March 14, 2013

Five Surprising Truths About Prayer Isaiah 37:16-20

God Loves You
We want powerful prayers that get dramatic answers. There are some truths about prayer that may surprise us.

"And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth, You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O lord and hear; open your eyes O Lord, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. It is true. O Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands, Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God." Isaiah 37:16-20

Because he was king of Israel he did not have any special privileges than the lowliest believer today does not have in greater abundance.  The same God who heard Hezekiah's prayer rules today.

Here are a few observations.
  1. Prayer need not be long to be effective.  Considering the crisis, an invading army, impending destruction, enslavement and death, the prayer is very short.  Most of us would have gone on and on and on just to make sure God got the message.
  2. Prayer should include worship. The first part of this prayer is pure worship and had nothing to do with the request.
  3. Prayer should be honest. God wants us to come to him in truth, Hezekiah doesn't pad the truth or play anything up he tells it simply.
  4. Prayer request should be clear. The actual request is short and sweet. "Now O, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand..."  Most of us would have spent a long time saying that and filling in all our plans and details.
  5. The Motivation is as much for the glory of God as for deliverance, "So that all the kingdoms on the earth may know that you alone, O Lord are God"
The answer to this simple prayer:
  1. The Prophet Isaiah brought a special revelation to the king, vs 21 - 35.
  2. The angel of the Lord put to death 185,000 men in the enemy camp in one night, vs 36.
  3. The enemy leader, Sennacherib, broke camp and returned to Nineveh, and stayed there,vs 37.
  4. One day while he was worshiping his pagan god his own sons slew him,vs 38.
  5. And Sennacherib's sons became exiles, they did not inherit the throne and did not threaten Israel ever again, vs 38.
    This was all because of a short humble prayer. May we learn to pray like Hezekiah.

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    (c) Adron Dozat 3/14/13

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