God Has Strengthened

Reference scripture: 2 Kings 20: 1-7

Hezekiah was one of only a few kings of Judah who “did what was right in in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 18:3). His reign was characterized by trusting in the Lord, serving Him, praying to Him, and tearing down the pagan places and idols of worship which were an affront to His holiness- King Hezekiah walked humbly with his God. We find in our reference scripture that one day Hezekiah became gravely ill; and in fact, God sent His prophet Isaiah to instruct him to get his house in order because he was going to die (verse 1). Immediately the king turned his face to the wall and prayed this simple prayer:

“I beseech thee O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight.” Then he wept bitterly.

After he prayed this humble and brief prayer of faith, an astounding turn of events occurred: Before Isaiah could leave the king’s court, the Lord instructed him to turn around and deliver these words to Hezekiah, ” I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold I will heal thee…and I will add unto thy days 15 years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria and I will defend this city for mine own sake” (verses 4 & 5). Notice that in this particular prayer, Hezekiah did not ask for anything; he left everything in the hands of the Lord, whom he trusted to act justly and mercifully on his behalf. The name Hezekiah means “God has strengthened” and undoubtedly we witness this continual strengthening through God’s response to the king’s prayer- longer life, victory over Judah’s enemy, and protection for the city.

The overwhelming lesson here lies in the fact that prayer to our powerful God is, well- powerful! James 5:16 promises that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth (accomplishes) much.” Furthermore, 1 John 5: 14 & 15 teach that God hears and answers prayers when we make our requests according to His will. Many times I have entered into prayer disheartened and weak, but have come away feeling hopeful and strengthened. How wonderful it is to know that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8); and so we can rely on God’s mercy and grace, just as King Hezekiah did- we can be strengthened when we pray.