2 Kings 19 & 20
Maybe you can relate to this… Sometimes when I go to the Lord in prayer about something big and significant regarding myself, I start to worry that maybe I am too undeserving for that request to be even considered by God. Perhaps because I have not lived a certain way or have sin in my life, God would not answer my prayer? Even long time Christ followers struggle with these thoughts. And if you do, you are not alone. Some of us enter into a bit of negotiating in our prayers… “God, I know I did this… please forgive me… I promise not to… ever again… If you could please answer my prayers…” And in these moments, those words seem artificial for we know that we are flawed and prone to sin again. When we experience this type of thinking, we may also feel vulnerable that we have lost our chance for God to answer our prayers to Him. We feel unworthy.
A couple of thoughts… First, it is good that you have these thoughts tugging at your heart but important to not remain in that place of feeling that way. Let me explain. The Holy Spirit is always prompting us and nudging us to remove the sin in our lives that might serve as a barrier or obstacle in growing our relationship with God. The only way to remove that barrier is to confess where we fall short and ask forgiveness. This is a daily thing! When our prayer life diminishes and we do not come to Him often in this way, we can feel that anxiety of negotiating forgiveness and asking for God’s help. So, don’t let those feeling keep you from reaching out to God in prayer. Ask forgiveness and know that you are forgiven. Lay your burdens at the foot of Christ and know that because He loves you, He will help you.
Second, is a point that Wendy makes about the character of God. The character of God is love, mercy, grace, holiness, etc. It is not because of who we are, but because of who God is. We can come to God and ask Him to forgive us, help us, to heal us, etc. because God is love. You are loved by God! We give a lot “talk” to the gift of God’s Son and the resurrection. But rarely to we let it truly sink in on a personal level. If God thought of you, before you were born, knowing how your life would play out – the good steps and missteps, your short comings… and yet, He still sent Christ to pay a debt you could not pay. God still said I will fight for her – she is my child. I think that we can come in confidence when we pray and know because of Who He I and not who we are – He will listen to us and answer our prayers.
Dig Deeper: Today, we will be reading about Hezekiah, one of the better kings of Judah. He was one of the better ones because Hezekiah truly tried to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He got rid of false god worship in the high places. He trusted God and held fast in following Him. If you have time (we all do at the moment) read through the lineage of kings is 2 Kings 15:32-16:20. You will see where goodness often skipped generations. However, Hezekiah’s great-grandfather and grandfather were influential for him. Scripture shares that both kings as wise and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
As you read 2 Kings 19 & 20, take note of how Hezekiah prayed and how God answered his prayer (19:14-20). God promised Hezekiah that He would defend Judah in order to preserve it. God showed His character time and time to Hezekiah. Take a look at 2 Kings 20:1-11. Just after the Lord saved King Hezekiah and his people from the enemy, Hezekiah fell ill. Even though Hezekiah was told he only had days to live, he prayed to God. It’s important to know that Hezekiah was not praying for healing because he thought his actions and works were good. Instead, he knew God. He had come to know the character of God. And because of who God is, we like Hezekiah can come to Him with our prayer requests.
Discuss: Think of a time in your own life when you desperately need god to intervene. How did you approach God in prayer? What can we learn about our prayer life by knowing and understanding the character of God?