Hezekiah and praying | Mark’s Remarks

Hezekiah was the 13th king of Judah and is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus, written in Matthew. 

He was a righteous king who enacted religious reform in an attempt to get everybody on the straight and narrow.

Later in life, Hezekiah was given a death sentence after being examined by a doctor.  

“Get your affairs in order.  You’re going to die.”

The account, written in Isaiah Chapter 38,  goes like this:  

2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.

Yep. Hezekiah resorted to prayer when he felt he had no choice. He had nothing left. So, he turned to the Lord and 15 years were added to his life.  

Hezekiah, even though a powerful and highly capable ruler, is really like many of us. When he felt he had nothing left, prayer was his last resort.

I wonder why we do that? 

Many of us pay little mind to God, his promises, his word, or to the power of prayer until we simply have no other options. 

Hezekiah was apparently a pretty solid guy.  He relied on the Lord.  He honored the Lord. His name means “Yahweh strengthens.” So yes, he knew who the Lord was and he tried to live right. 

I won’t ruin the rest of the story for you. I’d encourage you to read on in Isaiah and see how the last 15 years of Hezekiah’s life turned out.

But even the strongest of Christians can behave the same way many of us do.  We try to do things on our own. Control the situation, explore options, see what our own efforts will do.

Then, when all else fails, we turn to prayer.

I’m wondering what would happen if prayer was always our first choice.   

Many of us, including myself, would have to switch gears. Many of us are control freaks and think we can fix just about anything if we put our minds to it. Think of the possibilities if we just said “Lord, I’m not sure what is the best step to take, but I’m thinking you can offer help of some kind.”

Most of us don’t depend on God because we are impatient – or we have prayed and the prayer wasn’t answered in a way we thought it would be.

Sometimes, we don’t go to the Lord with prayers because we think they are insignificant. Some people are appalled when you tell them you will pray for them. Some people are so turned off by prayer that they walk away when people are praying.

God wants us to come to him with everything. Everything! Even when things are going well. Sounds simple, and many of us already know this.

I’m not preaching to you – I’m reminding myself.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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