By E. L. Thornton
2 Chr 30:18-20
“For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one
That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.”
This lesson is to show the power we have with God in prayer.
I saw this article and thought it might be of interest to this church. “We are sorry to announce the passing of Mrs. Prayer Meeting. She died recently at the First Neglected Church on Ho-Hum Avenue. Born many years ago in the midst of a great revival, she was strong and healthy as a child, fed largely on testimony and Bible study she grew into worldwide prominence and was one of the most influential members of the Church family.
However, in recent years Sister Prayer Meeting has been failing in health, gradually wasting away until rendered helpless by stiffness of the knees, cooling of the heart, lack of spiritual sensitivity and the concern for spiritual things. Her last whispered words were inquiring about the strange absence of her loved ones, now so busy in the market place and places of worldly amusement on Wednesday evenings!
Experts, including Dr. Good Works, Dr. Socializing and Dr. Unconcerned disagree as to the fatal cause of her final illness. They all administered large doses of excuses, even ordered a last minute motivational bypass, all to no avail. A post-mortem examination showed that a deficiency of regular spiritual food, a lack of prayer and Christian fellowship, all contributed to her untimely demise. And so died Mrs. Prayer Meeting.”
But I would like to tell you that prayer has always meant power with God, more prayer means more power, and it will always mean power with God. Prayer, real prayer.
Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.
The great religious reformation of king Hezekiah and prophet Isaiah was thoroughly impregnated with prayer, God touching prayer.
Hezekiah leaps out as a surprise because of his strength and genius concerning religious matters. The rare statement, (2 Kings 18:3) “He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord,” is a glad and thrilling sound when we consider all his antecedents, background, and environments.
Where did he come from? Under what circumstances was his cchildhoodlife spent? Who were his parents and what were their religious character? Worldliness, half-heartiness and utter apostasy marked the reign of his father, of his grand father, and his great grand father. His home surroundings, as he grew up, were far from being favorable to godliness and faith in God.
One thing, however, favored him. Hezekiah was fortunate in having Isaiah for his friend and counselor when he assumed the crown of Judah. How much value there is, for a man, in having a God called and a God fearing man for a counselor and an associate. Keep such a man in your life. Such a man proved invaluable to king Hezekiah.
The teachings of power in prayer for Hezekiah must have came from the man of God. For when I study the life of this great king, I find that he went to prayer often and about different things.
I. HE PRAYED FOR DIRECTION:
Hezekiah prayed for direction in reforming his kingdom. Not just reforming his kingdoms government but turning his kingdom back to God. There were many in his kingdom that were not sanctified, (unclean, idolworshippers) “Bur Hezekiah prayed.”
There are some things that you will never figure out, but will take the leading of God, will take the direction of God, to have the right answers.
In a day when Christians are not sure of anything, we need a holy direction from God to establish our path. In a day when moral fogs are encroaching on the church, we need a holy direction from God to clear the way. In a day when it seems uncertain what’s right and what’s wrong, no true color, no black or white, only grays, we need a holy direction form God to chart the course. In a day when it’s dangerous for a man of God to preach convictions, it’s to easy to change churches, we need a holy direction from God to set the itinerary.
Some people do not pray about their decisions, but make them on their own and then look for someone to blame. Some are afraid to pray about things because of what they know God is going to say. If you want unerring direction seek you out a man of God and talk to God about the matter.
II. HEZEKIAH PRAYED WHEN FACING THE ENEMY:
When the king of Assyria sent commissioners to the men of Judah with his intimidation’s and threats, with his denials of God, and his blasphemies of the name of Judahs God, the first thing Hezekiah did was humble himself and go the house of God. (II Ki 19:1) “And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.”
My dear brother, you must remember, that when the devil fights you he is fighting God.
Hezekiah’s first reaction was, turn to God, go to the house of God. God was in his thoughts and prayer was in his heart.
What is our first reaction in the face of trouble? Call an ambulance, call my attorney, call the doctor, call the banker, you should call God.
And a second time when Hezekiah hears from the king of Assyria he goes to the house of God. (II Ki 19:14-16) “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.”
When your enemy, Satan, comes against you, you should go the house of God. The first time, the second time, the third time, the forth time, —————
III. HE USES PRAYERS EFFICIENCY AGAINST THE DECLARED
PURPOSES OF GOD:
(II Ki 20:1) “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.”
This decree came direct from God. Can anything defer, suspend, waive, or reverse, invalidate, or rescind the divine decree of heaven? Yes I see something that will stop God’s declared purpose. It’s the unheard of thing called prayer.
And at once Hezekiah gives himself to prayer. As soon as the proclamation escapes the lips of the prophet, as soon as the dissertation of the prophet has ended.
(II Ki 20:2) “Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, ”
God sometimes changes his mind, and on this occasion He had strong reason to.
His servant Hezekiah wants it done.
Prayer and tears were in God’s way to executing His plan. Prayer and tears are mighty things with God. They are more than His declared purpose, or His decrees, to Him.
For the church, the supreme need of the hour, is prayer.
Four things let us ever keep in mind, (1) God hears prayer, (2) God heeds prayer, (3) God answers prayer, (4) God delivers by prayer.
Prayer can walk all roads.
Prayer can break all bars.
Prayer dissolves all chains.
Prayer opens all prisons.
Prayer widens all striates.
Prayer defeats all enemies.
An article in the November 1987 Reader’s Digest reminded me of the truth that God is quick to hear and answer when we call upon Him in our need. It was about “enhanced 911,” an important addition to the emergency telephone call program. Where this system is in operation, a person who dials 911 doesn’t have to tell the operator his location. His name, address, and phone number appears immediately on an operator’s screen.
Enhanced 911″ has been a dramatic success. For example, a 6-year- old boy called 911 to report that his house was on fire. Even while the operator was telling the frightened boy what to do, fire equipment was being sent. A terrified girl called to say that a man was trying to break into her home. Within 3 minutes an arrest was being made and the child was safe. And in another city, a girl whispered to a 911 operator that a man was hurting her mother and then hung up. Police arrived in time to capture a rapist.
I believe that we are on “enhanced” with God