Different Ways to Pray (2)
Hezekiah, King of Israel, received a threatening letter from a much more powerful king – the King of Assyria. The Assyrian potentate demanded unconditional surrender, and told Hezekiah not to trust in God.
The letter was graphic, warning that resistance meant the Israelites would have to ‘eat their own excrement and drink their own urine’ before they died (2 Kings 18:27 NIV). Shudder! What did Hezekiah do?
He went to the temple ‘and spread it out before the Lord’. Then he prayed: ‘…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…’ (Isaiah 37:16-17 NIV).
Hezekiah literally said, ‘Lord, would you read this, then do something about it!’ And God did. Indeed, what He did was spectacular. ‘Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!’ (Isaiah 37:36 NIV).
So, what piece of paper would you like to spread out before the Lord?
A billing statement that’s overwhelming?
A dismissal notice?
A medical diagnosis?
An angry email?
Any piece of paper that causes you stress can be an invitation to prayer, and a candidate to be spread out before the Lord. If it’s important to you, it’s important to Him.
You say, ‘I’ve never done anything like that before.’ Try it. Give it to God, trust Him, and watch how He works things out for you.
‘Hezekiah received the letter…and spread it out before the Lord.’ Isaiah 37:14 NIV
ENCOURAGEMENT 4 TODAY
Hosea 5:16, 6; 7:14; 10:12; 14:8-9
I will return again to my place, when they acknowledge their guilt & seek my face, & in their distress earnestly seek me! For I desire steadfast love & not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. They do not cry to me from the heart! Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your hard ground, for it is time to seek the Lord that he may come & rain righteousness upon you! It is I who answer & look after you! I am an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit! Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, & the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
It is my prayer for you that you would understand his way & seek God earnestly today! He has shown you what you must do! Seek him today! Never delay!