9 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Kings 18:13–19:37
Acts 21:1-17
Psalm 149:1-9
Proverbs 18:8

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

2 Kings 19:14–20 (NLT): “After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the LORD’s Temple and spread it out before the LORD.” 

“And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the LORD: ‘O LORD, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, O LORD, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. It is true, LORD, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O LORD our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O LORD, are God.’” 

“Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria.’”

Reflections from Scripture:

In 2 Kings 19:14–20, we learn some very helpful prayer principles. I will simply list them as bullet points. Please don’t quickly read over them but, instead, reflect upon them. Ask yourself, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart as you assess what adjustments you need to make in your prayer time as we learn from a biblical example.

  • In 2 Kings 19:22ff, we notice that Hezekiah’s prayer caught Heaven’s attention. We are told that the Lord heard the prayer and would respond. So, Hezekiah’s prayer “worked,” and we should learn from it.
  • 2 Kings 19:14: We must inform ourselves of the problem before we go to the Father. So, before we pray, we need to figure out (to the best of our ability) what is going on and what we will ask.
  • 2 Kings 19:14 – We must spread out our concerns to the Lord. He already knows everything. But He wants us to come to Him and cast all of our cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). So, tell Him all about your concerns.
  • 2 Kings 19:15 – We should consider beginning our prayers for deliverance with praise. We should start by focusing our attention on our great God. As we celebrate His infinite knowledge, power, and other attributes, our faith that He can resolve the problem grows.
  • 2 Kings 19:16 – We can call upon Heaven to listen and answer. In doing so, we should never, ever think that we are “God” and that Heaven must submit to our whims. Instead, as New Testament believers, we come to the throne of grace on Jesus’ authority (John 14:13-14). We also come with a mind informed by the Bible of what kind of prayers God delights to answer (1 John 5:14-15) and what promises He has made in His Word. Therefore, we simply call upon Heaven to do what is consistent with the things God has already done or what God has already promised He would do.
  • 2 Kings 19:17-19 – We learn that answered prayers have one thing in common – they are directly connected with God’s glory. When we ask for something that ultimately points to how wonderful our God is, we know Heaven hears. We cannot twist God’s arm and force Him to answer our prayers, but He will certainly listen if our primary aim is His glory.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I often feel like my prayers get no further than the ceiling. Sometimes, I go for weeks or even months without getting a single prayer answered. Encourage my heart to pray like Hezekiah. Help my times of desperation to motivate me to passionately pray in a way that moves Heaven. I realize that answered prayer is a way to achieve happiness (John 16:24), so teach me to pray effectively. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash