Sunday, July 26, 2015

HEALED! - THE PRAYER OF HEZEKIAH

There is an amazing incident in the Bible that happened in the 8th century BC in ancient Judah which still takes your breath away. The reason is, this miracle, where God was about to call a man home - King Hezekiah - occurred when the King prayed one of the shortest prayers ever recorded! For the record, the shortest prayer ever has to be when Peter was sinking after walking on the water briefly towards Jesus (on the Sea of Galilee) and he shouted out in fear and trepidation "Lord, save me!" Those are the most powerful three words in history for any lost sinner, such as you and I were before He rescued us from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of His Marvelous Light!

Hezekiah was a very young man, probably in his early 50's when the Word of the Lord came to the Amazing Prophet Isaiah. Chapter 38 verse 1 says "In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”

But then here comes the one short sentence prayer which caused God to do something unique, in Isaiah 38:2-3 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lordand said, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” 

What was it in that short prayer that could have caused God to respond this way: (verses 4-6): "And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.”’ 

One of the most productive things any Christian can do is to read and study the dozens and scores of prayers in the Bible! Each one is unique in circumtance but there is a common denominator to each prayer that inspires the reader (you and I) to become prayer warriors like these our predecessors in the Faith, whom we shall meet one day in Heaven and fellowship with forever! That common thread was Faith and Submission to the Will and Work of God. Keep this in mind, through the following: brief look at  King Hezekiah's Prayer: 

- Hezekiah turned his face TOWARDS the wall: the man and woman of God MUST turn away from the bonds of this world and TO the One Who holds the world in His Hands. Not just that but doing this indicates FULL reliance on the power and promises of God to heal, seal and reveal His plans for us.
- Hezekiah "prayed to the LORD": do not be afraid to go to the Lord with even bitter questions of "why Lord, why is this happening" because if you are listening and not trying to answer the question yourself, He will show you why something is amiss, why He allowed it and where this is supposed to lead you in your relationship with Him.
- Hezekiah asked the Lord to remember: Now the Lord did NOT forget a thing. But there is nothing wrong in bringing up your faith and full trust in Yahweh as an introduction to your prayer, and mine, not to remind God but to come to the Throne in full understanding of your right standing before Him.
- Hezekiah walked with God in Truth and with a loyal heart:  and Hezekiah did do that. He removed the pagan form of idolatry and worship and stood on the Word of God his entire life. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says "the Eyes of the Lord runneth to and fro across the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him". While God may not perform a life saving miracle every time, for His own reasons, He does stand up for those who stand WITH Him! Just reflect back on our own lives, and think of the many times He rescued us from this calamity, and that financial hole or this accident or that health scare or worse. This comes from an intentional and purposeful daily WALK with The LORD. Scripture encourages us constantly to WALK with Him and the kind of Walk we should have as sinners saved by Grace. We walk with those whom we love, so why should we not walk with the One Who loved us?!
- Hezekiah did what was good in God's sight: as much as it depends on us, let us do as much good as we can. We should do this, not just to our families where it is expected but to and for those who can give us nothing in return. I am not just talking about helping the poor and homeless but also for living like King Hezekiah, whose deeds made it possible for the Truth of God to reign and be a testimony to others. THAT is our calling.
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