“And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD” (Isaiah 37:14,15).
As Christians, what should we do when we don’t know what to do, when problems are so great, when we are at our wits end, and when the enemy has descended as a flood?
Hezekiah experienced the same set of circumstances. Sennacherib, the great king of Assyria, had steam-rolled his way into Judea conquering everything in sight. No nation had withstood him. No god had defeated him. He even boasted about it, “Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?” (Isaiah 36:18). Now, Sennacherib had advanced to the very walls of Jerusalem with 185,000 men. Humanly, a hopeless situation.
Normally, for most of us, we make prayer the last resort, but Hezekiah made it the first resort. He knew that upon God alone depended the victory. “And Hezekiah prayed” (text).
Prayer works. That night the angel of the Lord smote the 185,000 men. Sennacherib went to Nineveh in disgrace and was eventually murdered by members of his own family (Isaiah 37:36–38). Hezekiah’s prayer is recorded for us in Isaiah 37:15–20. Possibly we could incorporate some of the elements of his prayer into our praying.
He knew that his God was the one and only true God: “Thou art the God, even thou alone” (v.16). He knew his God would fight for him, using the name “LORD of hosts” (v.16), the hosts being both angelic and divine. He knew that his God was the omnipotent God who “made heaven and earth” (v.16). Certainly the One who had the power to create all things could handle his “impossible” situation.
Hezekiah asked for deliverance (v.20) and received it. May we learn to pray like Hezekiah. NPS