Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.'”
2 Kings 19:14, 20
Where am I taking my problems?
Hezekiah had a major problem in the form of Sennacharib. The king of Assyria had an impressive military history and an army with such a reputation that cities would sooner commit suicide than be conquered by the Assyrians. Hezekiah was staring down the metaphorical barrel of a loaded gun. He does what came naturally to him: take it to God. His prayer says a great deal about him and his relationship with God and how he saw things, but that’s not my focus this morning.
Do I expect God to work without me asking Him to?
God’s message to Hezekiah — through Isaiah — begins in a pretty straightforward manner. God says, “You prayed. I heard. I will act.” But that sequence begs the question: Would God still have acted if Hezekiah had not prayed? We will never know, because Hezekiah did pray and God did act and things turned out good for Judah in that instance.
The application is all about prayer. My problems are pas grand chose for God — hardly worth calling problematic. But they may be insurmountable obstacles to me. Am I, like Hezekiah, taking my concerns to God? I have seen God answer prayers in my life, but not as often as I would like. And maybe, just maybe, that’s because I do not often enough take my problems and concerns to God in prayer. He promises to hear; He tells Hezekiah that He has heard. But there’s an important note made in God’s words to Hezekiah: because you have prayed. God heard because Hezekiah spoke. Am I speaking to and with God? God is listening, but He will hear nothing from me unless I speak.