Facing an incredible crisis? Pray! Pray fervently!

intense-prayerI was so impressed this morning in my Bible reading by the power and effectiveness of sincere prayer! How did James put it? “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16 NLT) And besides Elijah (the example given in James) we can add the example of Hezekiah’s sincere, fervent prayer recorded in Isaiah 37:14-20 (read it… It’s simple, it’s fervent, it’s sincere and expressive of authentic faith in a Living God!)

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had invaded Judah and taken many cities. Jerusalem was next. The Rabshakeh, Sennacherib’s high ranking military leader, sent an arrogant, threatening, letter to Hezekiah, blaspheming the Living God. Hezekiah did all that he knew to do in the crisis, he took the letter up to the temple and spread it out before the Lord and prayed…

And here was the result…

“Then Isaiah, the son of Amos, sent to Hezekiah saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: BECAUSE YOU HAVE PRAYED TO ME concerning Sennacherib, king of Assyria, this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him… Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel! … Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass… I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against Me!’ … Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it! By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. For I will defend this city and save it, for My own sake and for the sake of my servant David! … The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!” (From Isaiah 37:21-38)

It’s almost as if in response to the intense, sincere, believing prayer of Hezekiah, God spoke through Isaiah, his prophet, and said, “Don’t worry Hezekiah, I’ve got this one!” Read the entire passage… God did exactly what he promised!

Just gotta say… I don’t understand why, when we are facing a crisis, we don’t pray more! After all Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6)

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