When we read ancient accounts of the rise and fall of nations in the Bible, we realize that the world has always been out of control and bent on destruction. If we think the Enemy ever rests, we are deluding ourselves.
Don’t you feel it sometimes …the urgent need for God’s intervention in this insane world in which we live? Do you ever feel threatened and that things could go really wrong in a hurry if certain things happen a certain way? I think that’s a human condition. It is certainly one that King Hezekiah could relate to. Our prayer text for today is 2 Kings 19:14-19.
You might not be brushed up on your Kings of Judah in the Old Testament, but suffice it to say that Hezekiah was one of the good guys. His dad and his son … both kings also … not so good. Under the threat of being demolished by the enemy, Hezekiah does what godly people do. He turns to the Lord.
And that is what we must always do when we feel the oppression of the world (and our own personal world). There are genuine concerns and threats in our world today. What we need from God is mercy. A prayer seeking God’s mercy might follow the thoughts of Hezekiah…
*Spread out before the Lord the matter that was causing your anguish.
*Recognize God as all powerful – as uniquely able to dominate this problem. (...Lord God of Israel who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God—You alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth.)
*Ask God to hear … to be attentive to this need. Not that He is unaware, but when we pray we are expressing our needs and desires in a humanly limited way. We are seeking His attention in a specific way. (…Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see.)
The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart upon the black horse of affliction.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
*Express your need for mercy. (...Now, Lord our God, please save us …) This likely will come naturally, for it is the reason for your prayer.
*Allow praise to flow from a recognition of God’s dominion. (...so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God—You alone.) We do not express praise because we get what we want, but because the Creator of the universe has the power to deal with this issue in any way that He sees is best. I think this also calls attention to the testimony that follows answered prayer … we want the whole world to know of our merciful God!
I do not offer these thoughts as a pattern to follow so much as seeds to grow in our prayers for mercy. We need God’s mercy in this world …but also in our personal world … where we need deliverance.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. ~Hebrews 4:15-16
God did answer Hezekiah’s prayer – and He does answer our prayers as well. He brings mercy into the most hurtful of situations. His mercies are new every morning…they never end. As a Christian you are now living in an overflow of mercy from the Father above.
As we head into 2015, we seek His mercy for our greatest hours of need … and also ask him to help us to deal with others in merciful ways.