Is This for Real? – Part 4
“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.’” (2 Kings 20:1 NIV)
God had sent the prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah to get his house in order, because he was going to die. His life was over; his sickness was unto death. But the biblical account tells us that after Isaiah left, Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” That’s all. He prayed twenty-two words, and then he broke down and wept bitterly. But sometimes weeping is the best kind of praying, because God understands the language of tears. And whatever was driving Hezekiah to pray that way, whether it was a child or wife he didn’t want to leave behind, every tear had a message for God. He was agonizing, “God, I want to live! I’m not done yet, God, please!”
But here’s the amazing part: The prophet Isaiah thought he had fulfilled the mission he had been given by the Lord, and he had turned to leave the palace. But the prophet had not even left the middle court when the Lord told him to go back and tell Hezekiah that he had heard his prayer and seen his tears, and that he was going to add fifteen more years to his life. Is this for real? Can God actually change a plan he’s made just because someone has prayed? Yes! Hezekiah’s story is the ultimate example of that truth.
This can really be troubling to those who know their Bibles and know that God is sovereign. In fact, in some circles, the sovereignty of God is emphasized so much, that the thought is, “Why pray? God is going to do what he’s going to do. Why bother? God is a ruler, and he’s in charge. He doesn’t depend on some weak little human being.” I agree that God is in charge, but what do we do with this verse: “You have not because you ask not”? That’s for you. That’s for me. God says to his people, in essence, “I would do this for you, but I have never heard you ask for it. I have never seen you cry out to me about this.”
How many of us have touched the power there is when you just come like a child and call on God? What the enemy of our souls will tell you is that you’re not good enough to have your prayers heard; but I assure you today: our prayers are heard because of Jesus Christ. We come into God’s presence, and he is our Father. He listens to us, because we don’t come in our own name. We come in the name of Christ. The prayer of Hezekiah was made before Christ came. Imagine the power there is now that we can pray in the name of Jesus!
Is this for real, and is it for you and me today? Yes, praise the Lord, it is!
Read 2 Kings 20:1-6.