2 Kings 18:13-19:37; Acts 21:1-16; Psalm 149:1-9; Proverbs 18:8
Prayer In the Midst of the Insurmountable
“So now, O LORD save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.” – 2 Kings 19:8
By studying the prayers of Scripture, we can learn a lot about how to pray effective prayers. Constantly throughout the Bible, we see prayers like the one Hezekiah offers to the LORD.
Things are looking bleak for Judea and Jerusalem. The hordes of the Assyrian army are mocking YHWH God and His people, threatening at the gates. Yet Hezekiah does not resort to bravado; no, he encourages his men NOT to answer the Assyrian mockers (2 Kings 18:36).
He does resort to prayer. THAT he prays in this situation is instructive in and of itself. The forces outside the gate of Jerusalem appeared to be insurmountable in sheer numbers. Why even hope? Why even pray? There is not a chance. But that is precisely the moment to pray!
The LORD loves to show His hand on behalf of His people in seemingly insurmountable situations. Hezekiah knows the LORD well enough to understand that if He so chooses, He can overcome such odds and forces. But notice the way Hezekiah makes his appeal to the LORD to act. His humble request for salvation comes with a purpose or motivation for the LORD– “…that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.”
When the LORD acts on behalf of His faithful people by overcoming insurmountable odds in spite of their weakness, His strength is revealed, His name is glorified.
The LORD desires to be worshiped and obeyed to the ends of the earth. Human beings are made to do that very thing. In your prayers, appeal to the LORD’s preeminence over all other powers and forces. God loves an opportunity to reveal His power and glory through the weakness of His faithful people. When we are at our weakest, God delights to show Himself strong. Pray to that end.
LORD, I am not able to save myself, but you alone have the strength and power to forgive, to heal, to restore. Please show your strength in my life that others may see that you alone are God and that Jesus Christ is Lord. Amen.
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine