Sunday, September 19

Because you have prayed…

Scripture: Isaiah 37-38, Psalm 109, Matthew 1

Isaiah 37:14–15 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:

Isaiah 37:21–22 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him: 


The king of Assyria surrounded Jerusalem and sent King Hezekiah a letter reminding him of all the lands Assyria had conquered, and that none of their gods had saved them.  “What makes you think your god will save you?  He can’t, any more than those other gods could save their people.”  

What was Hezekiah’s response?  He prayed.  He went to the temple and spread the letter out before the Lord, as if to say, “Look at this.”  He acknowledged the parts that were true—the other gods hadn’t saved their people, but that’s because they weren’t really God, just idols fashioned by human hands.  Then he asked the Lord to deliver them to show the world that He was the true God.  

And God did.

But first, God responded to Hezekiah’s prayer by sending the prophet Isaiah with a message that began, “Because you have prayed to me concerning the king of Assyria…”.  God’s deliverance was a response to Hezekiah’s prayer: “Because you have prayed to me.”  Let that sink in!


Because you have prayed…

These words infer that the deliverance that followed was God’s response to Hezekiah’s prayer.  In other words, if Hezekiah hadn’t prayed, they might not have been delivered.  Which makes me wonder…

How many deliverances, how many answers to prayer don’t happen because we didn’t pray?  I think it was Billy Graham who said that heaven is full of answers to prayer that weren’t given because we didn’t ask.  

James said, “You don’t have because you don’t ask God.”  James 4:2

Because you have prayed…

There are so many difficult situations facing us now, facing me now—and often, my first response is to fret, scheme, and get frustrated, rather than spread it out before the Lord and pray.  So my application today is to bring every challenge to God in prayer, earnest heart-felt prayer, and see what He will do.

How many things might change…because you have prayed.

Prayer: Lord, what an amazing thought this is—that You would listen to my prayer and respond!  Help me today (and every day) to respond to each challenge by spreading it out before You and praying for Your intervention.