Prayer and the Will of God by Eddie Foster

Isaiah 37:14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord, saying, 16 O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. 17 Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, O Lord, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. 18 Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, 19 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. 20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even thou only.  Isa 38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, 3 And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, 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.

What motivates you to pray? Some pray regularly about all things. In our decision making, all things should go to God in prayer so we know his hand is in it.  Daniel prayed three times a day at a set time by opening his window and looking toward Jerusalem. We need times set for prayer every day. Paul says to pray without ceasing. We can’t pray all the time, but we can whisper a prayer anytime. Paul simply meant don’t let anything interrupt your prayer life. Don’t go days without praying. Most practice prayer in crisis. Illness comes. A job is lost. Family problems happen. Sennacherib planned to kill the king of Assyria. The next morning only a few of them awoke. The rest fled. Verse 14 tells us that Hezekiah received the letter, took it to the Lord’s house and spread it out before God. He realized they could do nothing to stop it. In verse 20 we see his prayer. Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even thou only. By being saved from this evil he knew other nations would see the glory of God. Then in Chapter 38 Hezekiah was told to Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. What did he do?  He prayed. Fifteen years were added to his life.  

He prayed because he had a need. If some never had the need they would never pray. Others see the need of nothing because of their self-centeredness. They think they can make it on their own. We need God as head of the church and the country. When some come to something unsolvable is the only time they turn to God. Some are too busy with work and leisure to stop and pray. I’ve seen some laid low to get them to pray. God might slow you down. I like to pray and read the Bible in the morning. The Bible is the living Word of God. When you read it also pray that it will take hold in your heart. For others sin gets in the way of praying. When sin gets hold in a person’s life, prayer will vanish; however, if prayer gets hold in a life, sin will vanish. Whatever the need, bring it to God. He can help anytime. Whatever the burden, put it at the feet of Jesus.  Hezekiah prayed definitively. He prayed about Sennacherib and about his own life. You can pray “God bless the missionaries” but we should pray “God bless xx” and name that missionary.  He prayed in faith and got 15 more years. When is the last time you prayed and knew you’d get what you asked for. Of course, it must be in God’s will. That is why we say “if it be your will.” But we can sense by faith when the answer will come as we asked. It appears from this that God’s mind can be changed. In verse 1 God told Hezekiah he would die. In verse 3 he prayed. In verse 5 God gave him 15 years. By the intervention of Moses, the people of Israel were spared after worshipping the golden calf. When it seems God’s mind was changed it was because of prayer. In the darkest days of life, prayer changes things. We don’t know how long we’ll live. Hezekiah knew he had 15 more years. There is really nothing but a step between us and death.  Knowing we can die at any moment ought to tell us we need to get our house in order. We cannot count on tomorrow. We plan things; we’ve all got plans beyond tomorrow. The main thing is to remember one day we’ll leave this world. Do the good deeds for God today. People intended to do lots of things, but they died first. Do today what you need to do.

All our days are a gift from God. Hezekiah got 15 more years, but each day is a gift. Wisely use the time God gives you. This breath is mine; God holds the next one. He’s given you today. What are you doing with it? There is a purpose for each life. There was for Hezekiah; there is for you and for me. The devil would like to kill you today, but the fact is we all face a death sentence. Hebrews 9:27 says And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. God has written down a date for each of use. It is sad to think about this, but it will happen. There are exceptions. Enoch walked with God and was not because God took him on up to heaven without his death. Elijah was carried off to heaven in a whirlwind. Christians who are alive when Christ returns will not die. The Bible says For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. The time to prepare is now. The rule is people will die. For the unbelievers it is fearful. Believers who die will fall asleep in Jesus. This is not soul sleep. It will be like closing eyes in sleep. The body will be taken to the grave, but the real you goes to God. A Christian gains by dying. Philippians 1:21 says For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Why did Paul say this? Death for the Christian is freedom from ailments, and a body that hurts. It’s freedom from sin. One day sorrow will be gone. We battle the devil and the flesh but there will be a day when they won’t bother me. We will gain fellowship with all those old saints in the Bible as well as our loved ones gone on. But most of all, we’ll see Jesus. We will have fullness of knowledge. It’s hard to say “I don’t know” when people look for an answer from you.  One day we’ll know the reason that things happened. God has a plan for everything that happens to us. We will gain our permanent eternal home. I have a little house here but it’s not my home. My home is in glory. I’m a child of the King. This world is in sad shape, but heaven is all right!

If God told you to set your house in order, are you ready? Do you plan to do it tomorrow? One day tomorrow will run out. You can set your house in order through Jesus Christ. Do it today. Bring it to Jesus.

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