By Glenn Metts
Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Seymour
Focal Passage: Isaiah 37:14-20, 30-35
God listens to the prayers of His children. Indeed, He hears, He cares and He responds to us according to His righteousness, His love and wisdom. He is never too early. He is never too late. He is always on time. It stirs in my heart that I do not pray enough!
Franklin Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham, said that one regret his father had was that he didn’t pray enough. He felt that if he had prayed more and preached less, that he would have seen God do even greater things than he had witnessed over the course of his ministry.
King Hezekiah is described in the Bible as one of the most godly kings of Judah who had a close relationship with God. He was known as a reformer. When he became king, he was most concerned with Judah’s present obedience to the Lord.
Judah was filled with visual reminders of the people’s lack of trust in God, and Hezekiah boldly cleaned house. Altars, idols and pagan temples were destroyed. And, as we see in this week’s lesson, Hezekiah was a man who believed in the power of prayer because He trusted in God. He trusted the Lord.
Even though he was a king, he was humble enough to know that he was just a man and he needed the Lord. He was a man of prayer. Do we walk with the Lord closely enough that we trust Him to hear us and then answer us according to His wisdom and for His glory?
King Hezekiah trusted in God. He knew that the Lord alone was God. So, when he was faced with Sennacherib’s threat and an overwhelming and impossible situation, the Scripture says he went up to the temple and spread it out before the Lord. Hezekiah prayed with earnest sincerity and passion before the Lord beseeching His help.
In wisdom, humility and a passion to see God glorified, he laid it all out before the Lord. The most incredible truth to this story is that Hezekiah’s main concern was the glory of God. Because of his prayer, God moved and put to death 185,000 men. God received all the glory for protecting His people. What if we would always start our prayers with God’s glory as our main concern. Can you imagine?
I have always loved the story of George Muller, the great evangelist that cared for over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime. He too was a humble man and full of wisdom. He was a man of prayer as he cared for these orphans. He knew he needed God’s help and provision always.
One morning, there was nothing to eat in the house.
With the children gathered around the breakfast table, George Muller asked God’s blessing on the breakfast. A knock came at the door. A local baker delivered bread as a donation to the orphanage. Then, the milk man knocked on the door asking if they could use milk. His cart had broken down and he needed to give the milk away before it spoiled. This great man always gave the glory to God and looked to God time and again with every need.
As we consider our own prayer lives, we need to remember the lessons of humility and trusting our great God in all things that pertain to our lives. There is never a situation that He cannot handle. He invites us to come into His presence.
Jesus our wonderful Savior, upon His death on the cross tore the veil in the temple from top to bottom. The Scripture says, in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” To God be the glory, always! B&R — Metts is pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Seymour.