Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

Judah had a new king. His name was Hezekiah. He loved God and wanted to obey him even though he was only 25 years old!

Long ago the Israelites has split into two kingdoms; Judah in the north and Israel in the south. Both of them worshipped idols and disobeyed God’s commands. So God punished them, and sent the Assyrians to trouble them.

Does God still punish us when we sin? Yes, He does. He uses Daddies and Mommies and Policemen and Soldiers and Elders at church to punish us and teach us to do what is right. God does this so we can learn to obey Him and stop sinning.

Then God sent Hezekiah. Hezekiah broke up Judah’s idols and tore down the places where they worshipped them. Hezekiah obeyed God and taught his people to do that too. He fought the Assyrians and Judah’s other enemies the Philistines.

Israel did not obey God and they did not have a king like Hezekiah. So God sent the Assyrians to conquer them and they did. They tore down their cities and took their people far away from home to a strange place to live. Do you think this would have made everybody in Judah afraid? Yes, it probably did.

A few years later the king of Assyria—he had a really long name, Sennacherib—sent an army to Judah and captured many of their cities as well. Then he told king Hezekiah to give him money to go away! King Hezekiah was very afraid and gave a lot of money to the king of Assyria. He even took the gold off the doors of God’s temple!

Do you think this was a smart thing for Hezekiah to do? Was he trusting in God?
No, he was hoping this money would make the Assyrians go away.

But the money did not stop the Assyrians, and Sennacherib sent an even bigger army to Jerusalem the main city of Judah where Hezekiah and all the army was staying. The army surrounded the city and trapped everyone inside.

Then messengers came and shouted for everyone to hear, “Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord.” They said, “Hezekiah is lying when he says that the Lord will deliver you.” They told the people that the Assyrians would give them good food and land. They said that the God of Judah was just like other gods they had defeated before.

When the messengers stopped speaking no one spoke. Their words made everyone very sad and Hezekiah was very upset. What do you think he did? He did what all of us should do when we are upset. Hezekiah prayed! He also told the priests to pray that God would hear the bad things that the messengers had said and would deliver them.

The King of Assyria was very impatient with Hezekiah. Why did he and his people trust in God? Why didn’t they just give up and let him win? Didn’t they see that they were going to lose anyway? So the king sent Hezekiah a very very nasty letter. He said that God was a liar and would not be able to save him even though that’s what God promised to do.

Now Hezekiah trusted God. He took the letter to God and prayed. He said, “Oh Lord God of Israel, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made heaven and earth. Hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to scold you. The kings of Assyria are powerful and have destroyed many nations, so save us from Sennacherib so all the kingdoms of earth may know that you are the Lord God.”

Soon after Hezekiah prayed to God, Isaiah the prophet came to him with a message from God. He said, “Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib King of Assyria, I have heard.” Wow!! Hezekiah must have been glad! He had chosen to trust in God and God had not failed him.

Does God do what he promises? Yes He does!! And he did for Hezekiah too, for on a certain night after Hezekiah had prayed, the Lord sent an angel into the Assyrians camp. The next morning when some of the soldiers began to wake up they realized that God’s angel had killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand of them!! Their army was mostly dead!!

God had heard the prayers of Hezekiah and answered them by destroying his enemies. We too should pray to God when we have troubles. He does not always answer in the way that we think He should, but when we pray with obedient and faithful hearts we can know that He will hear us and do what is best for us.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Jim Bob??? Is that you?!!! Kristin Mercado Dunker here. Long time, eh? What a delight to literally stumble across your blog and see that you are still enjoying your writing! I hope you and Mary and gang are doing well! We are great - just got back from a vacation to New Hampshire which was breathtaking.~ I'm here on blogspot too, just mainly for my handstamped cards at the moment. I've thrown around the idea of an "etc." blog though. Maybe one day... Well, just thought I'd drop you a "hello"! Talk with you later, ~Kristin