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A King's Prayer

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A look at 3 lessons learned from King Hezekiah's example of prayer.

Notes
Transcript
2 Kings 20:1–6 KJV 1900
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. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, 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. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. And I will add unto thy days fifteen 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, and for my servant David’s sake.
Pre-Sermon Ice-Breaker:
A young boy decided to be nice and make Grandma some coffee, while she was still in bed. He bring it to her and watches he first sip with a smile. “Did I add enough cream and sugar? “Why yes, it is perfect,” “I’ve been watching you make it Grandma.” He beams with pride. Grandmother takes another drink and feels something bump her lip. Curious she takes another and the same thing. She starts to wonder what is going on but doesn’t want to hurt her grandson’s feelings. She keeps drinking and she finally notices a small green plastic man her her coffee. Finally, she has to ask, “why is there a toy in my coffee?” He beams with pride as he answers. “Grandma, everyone knows the best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.”

Introduction

What if you were sick and at the point death? Your doctor tells you - "Get your affairs in order because you're going to die; you're not going to recover."
What would you do? Cry? Laugh? Throw your bucket list in the trash? Ask to get a second opinion from another doctor? What would you do?
I'd like to contend that prayer is a far better choice than all of the other options I just mentioned. Think about it! Prayer is a one-of-a-kind link between God and man.
Prayer is important and powerful.
Time spent in prayer is time well spent. In fact, prayer makes the difference in everything.
Following are three (3) main points to take away from this message concerning prayer and who God is. They are that prayer is about:
• Needing God
• Asking God
• Trusting God
From the text, it appears Hezekiah's prayer changed God's mind
Someone once said, "Prayer doesn't bend God to our will. Prayer bends our will to God." God's plan is unchanging. Prayer is part of God's plan. Hezekiah's prayer didn't change God's plan; Hezekiah's prayer was part of the plan.
Hezekiah was king of Judah between 715 and 686 B.C. Detailed accounts of his life are given in the Bible's Old Testament books of 2 Kings 18-21, 2 Chronicles 29-32 and Isaiah 36-39. In addition, Hezekiah was a man of prayer .
Hezekiah was a man who recognized God's greatness and majesty. He also recognized his neediness for God in prayer.

Body

1. Prayer - Needy for God

Hezekiah had a desperate need to be healed of his illness and saved from death. He realized this when the prophet, Isaiah, brought word from the LORD that he would not recover from his illness. As was mentioned in the introduction, what would you do if you received such news? Prayer is the only answer. Here's a look again at Hezekiah's being needy for God as stated in 2 Kings 20:1
2 Kings 20:1 KJV 1900
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.
Whether we'd like to admit it or not, we're just like Hezekiah.
Health needs, material needs, relationship needs, spiritual needs.
Philippians 4:6 KJV 1900
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

2. Prayer - Asking God

Hezekiah was certainly in need of seeking God's face through prayer. He sincerely and simply pleaded his case by asking God to remember him. In fact, his weeping bitterly before God was an indication of his desperation for God's grace and mercy. Here's a look at 2 Kings 20:2-3
2 Kings 20:2–3 KJV 1900
Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, 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. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Do you and I realize our desperation for God's grace and mercy? Do we apprehend the fact that God gives generously through prayer? He did that for Hezekiah. He'll do that for you and me. But we have to ask! And we have to ask in faith for God's wisdom, with no doubts, trusting God's plan is always best. Here's James 1:5-6
James 1:5–6 KJV 1900
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
James 4:1–2 KJV 1900
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Matthew 7:7 KJV 1900
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

3. Prayer- Trusting God

God can always be trusted to make the difference in prayer. He always hears and answers the prayers of His people. His answer can always be trusted, whether it be "yes", "no" or "wait". Prayer never goes unnoticed by God. God's answer to prayer will always be for His name sake and for the good of His people. Always! Always! Always! Here's what Scripture says in our text from 2 Kings 20:4-6
2 Kings 20:4–6 KJV 1900
And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. And I will add unto thy days fifteen 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, and for my servant David’s sake.
Look at the components of God’s Answer:
1. I Have heard thy prayer
2. I have seen thy tears
3. I will heal thee
But you might be asking yourself, "What about when circumstances don't change or bad situations get even worse? What happens when a "Hezekiah-type prayer" doesn't bring healing? What's going on when it seems God isn't making the difference? Do I need to get my act together and pray harder and longer for God to do something?"
Let's go back to the Garden of Gethsemane and look to the Lord Jesus for the answers. Luke 22:41-42
Luke 22:41–42 KJV 1900
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Jesus was in much agony and sorrow. He was going to receive God's full wrath for the punishment of man's sin on the cross. Jesus was needy in prayer, asking the Father to remove that cup of wrath. Yet in the suffering of His darkest hour, Jesus humbly yielded His desires to the Father. Through prayer, He trusted God's purpose and plan to make the difference. And what a difference God made! Because of Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, those who receive Him by faith alone through God's grace alone can trust Him, even in life's most difficult trials.
So, don't ever give up on God. Even in the weakest, most feeble, unbelieving moments, don't believe for one minute that trusting God through prayer won't make the difference. Just because circumstances don't change or situations get worse, don't ever think that prayer is ineffective and powerless. Remember this - prayer's outcome is trusting our God, not trusting in the outcome of our prayers.

Prayer Truths to Live By

So, why does the prayer of a king who lived nearly 3,000 years ago make a difference in your life and mine? Hezekiah's prayer should cause us to realize that prayer makes the difference in every situation that you or I will ever face in life. Prayer is about being needy, as well as asking and trusting God to make the difference. Here are important truths to live by concerning prayer according to Scripture:
• Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
• Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6-7).
• Prayer is powerful (James 5:16).
And remember, too, the following prayer truths about who God is:
• I can never be too needy that God won't provide.
I can never ask too much that God won't answer.
• I can never trust too little that God won't make the difference.
If you’re here today and you don’t know Christ,
You can know Jesus as Lord, Savior and Friend right now by repenting of sin and believing in Him. God hears the prayers of a person who turns toward Him and away from sin. That's repentance. God never despises a needy, asking and trusting heart; He hears the cries for the forgiveness of sin. He hears the plea to provide everything for life and godliness. Yes, even the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. That's the good news message of the cross, which is the gospel.

Conclusion

As we wrap up this message on prayer, let me exhort the church to seek God's face and enjoy Him through prayer.
Here's some final thoughts. God answered Hezekiah's prayer graciously, and then some. Not because Hezekiah deserved it, and not because Hezekiah was a great king. A king's prayer nearly 3,000 thousand years ago was answered because the King of kings, God Himself, has a steadfast love that endures forever (Psalm 136). His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:2223). The riches of His grace are expressed in His kindness to believers in Christ (Ephesians 2:7). That's who God is. That's why we can delight in Him through Christ alone. That's why God is the hero of this story. So, let's come needy, asking and trusting Him in prayer to make the difference. Let us pray.
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