I hate to say it but sometimes I forget that God answers prayer. I think that sometimes I am guilty of looking at prayer as a discipline I need to practice just because it is one of the disciplines that Christians practice. It is easy for me take for granted the fact that prayer is an open conduit to God, who willfully sacrificed Himself so that we could have a conversation with Him.
I ran across a few scriptures in my devotional readings that have helped remind me that God answers prayer. 2 Kings 19-20 chronicles the reign of King Hezekiah. Two times in these chapters we see specific instances of where God responds to King Hezekiah’s prayers.
First in 2 Kings 19:14-20:
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: “O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.”
Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall
20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.
Then in 2 Kings 20:1-6:
In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’ ” 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3 “Now, O LORD, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD, 6 and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.”
In both of these passages we see God respond to King Hezekiah’s pleas. These two passages of scripture are just a small sampling of examples in the Bible of God responding to prayer. I also wanted to include Psalm 116:1-2 here because it really gets to the core matter of our relationship with God through Jesus; a need for mercy, forgiveness, and salvation.
1 I love the LORD, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
So what’s the take away? For me it’s a simple reminder that God answers prayer. It is additionally a challenge to be mindful of what I am praying. How fortunate are we that we would be allowed to interact with the Creator of the Universe in such a personal way as prayer? How fortunate are we that God is mindful of each one of us individually? And how fortunate are we that not only does God listen, but he answers!
What about you guys? Any thoughts on prayer?
Grace and Peace.