January 24, 2007

The Praying King

2 Kings 18:1-12; 19:9-19

There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 2 Kings 18:5


"Hezekiah trusted in the LORD ... He held fast to the LORD ... and the LORD was with him." One reason? Hezekiah prayed. Most kings tried to look great on their thrones; Hezekiah did his best work on his knees--and not just when he was in trouble. For Hezekiah, prayer was a habit.

In our reading for today, Hezekiah and his people are in deep trouble. Assyria is like a shark. It has already gobbled up the ten tribes of Israel, and it is circling back to devour Judah. The Assyrians mock and belittle Hezekiah and his God. Sennacherib even sends a letter to Hezekiah full of trash talk against the Lord.

Hezekiah reads the letter, walks straight into the temple with it, and shows it to God. He "spreads it out," as if to have God read it.

Is prayer difficult for you? Join the club. There are likely some Christians for whom prayer is easy, but for most of us, it is a discipline.

It does help, though, to get physical about it. Kneel. Or stand. Like Hezekiah, take your calendar, your checkbook (and your paycheck), your kids' report cards--and spread them out before God. Show him your life. Show God your trouble.

This is the most powerful commitment you can make in this coming year. Be like Hezekiah, and pray.

Father, give me the courage to lay open my life before you. You see me and know me. Teach me how to pray, Lord, and give me the discipline to make it a habit. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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