Why Pray?

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Are you facing a situation today that seems insurmountable? Hopeless?

Assyria had successfully conquered the cities they attacked, and they were smugly confident of future victories. Israel was already forced into exile, and around 700 B.C., Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded Judah and forced them to pay tribute to him.

Unlike previous kings, Hezekiah, king of Judah, was a good king who trusted in the LORD and had a godly reputation among the land. He removed the pagan altars and "clung to the LORD (2 Kings 18:6)."

Do you cling to the Lord?

Hezekiah rebelled against Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and now Judah was being taunted by Sennacherib's general, Rabshakeh. He brazenly declared that he was there on behalf of the LORD, and that the LORD told him to destroy Judah. Rabshakeh told the people that Assyria had conquered everyone else, and they were crazy for thinking Judah would be any different.

Are you upset because you feel overwhelmed by an attack? Do you feel surrounded by circumstances that are out of your control? 

Hezekiah tore his clothes—a sign of deep distress—and then consulted the prophet Isaiah, who told him not to be afraid of the words that they heard, because God had it all under control.

But then General Rabshakeh sent Hezekiah a note telling him they were doomed, repeating that Assyria had been victorious over other nations and they would conquer Judah as well.

King Hezekiah is still distressed. He is fearful of the impending attack on Judah. What does he do?

He prays.

"Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said, "O LORD, . . . 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 . . . and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, O LORD the kings of Assyria have devastated 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. So they have destroyed them. Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God, (2 Kings 19:14-19 NASB emphasis mine)."
What are you doing in the midst of your trials?

Isaiah brings the LORD's response to Hezekiah's prayer, which is key:

"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.' (2 Kings 19:20 NASB, emphasis mine)."

 God spared Judah, and King Sennacherib returned to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, where he was eventually killed by his own sons. Assyria later went on to be destroyed and was never a powerful nation again (they are modern-day Iraq).

Why pray?

  • It helps you to focus on God
  • You surrender your issue to Him
  • It gives Him the glory for the results in your situation.
Yes, God is sovereign. He knows everything. But that isn't a reason to be lazy with prayer. It's the best reason to run to Him with everything, since He's already on the other side of it.

Are you struggling with something today? Are you trying to control a situation that feels overwhelming?

Like Hezekiah, spread it all out before THE God, the only One who has everything in the palm of His hand, and watch what He will do.

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  1. Hi Selena! So nice to come on over to your blog today!

    There's nothing like the Old Testament fathers to teach us all about trust. Of course I get a little bogged down from time to time, who doesn't? But then it's nice to have blog friends who remind us that trust is the way to go.

    So fun to meet you today!

  2. Good word! it is all too easy to run to the phone or internet or an 'escape' when we are distressed, but God wants us to come to Him!! He has been really instilling in me a heart of prayer lately, and this post reminds me that especially when I'm in a trial I need to be praying! Great running into you at the trail today...it was beautiful out! :)


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