Prayer in Deliverance

Hezekiah & Isaiah, see Isa. 37:14-20. During King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib the evil King of Assyria literally threatened to destroy Judah. In the past before Hezekiah, Assyrian Kings named Sargon & Shalamanezer had already destroyed Israel, now the new Assyrian King Sennacherib was about to conquer the rest of God’s people in Judah. Judah’s King Hezekiah was faithful to God and had remodelled the Temple and restored the Altar, 2Chr. 29-31. Hezekiah had also stopped idolatry and destroyed the bronze serpent from Moses’ days which had become an idol called “Nehushtan”, 2Kg. 18:4. In the face of paying tribute to Assyria, Hezekiah refused Sennacherib the tax (2Kg 18:7), and even established his military strength in defeating neighbouring Philistines. This was the first show of arrogance from Hezekiah, because in this act, he was trying to bolster a relationship with Egypt and other countries other than Assyria, so they may help him fight off the oncoming assault from Assyria. This was not God’s will, Ex. 23:31-33 & 34:12-15. At this point Hezekiah fell gravely sick and Isaiah rebuked him, foretelling of his death. Immediately Hezekiah prayed in repentance, and before Isaiah even left his palace, God replied through Isaiah and healed Hezekiah giving 15 more years to his life, Isa. 38:1-21.

Sennacherib King of Assyria, understood King Hezekiah to be making ties with Egypt and other countries, 2Kg. 18:19-21. Sennacherib then set out to attack the southern part of Judah and then Jerusalem. The archaeological evidence is abundant today, proving this as real and Lachish was part of Sennacherib’s victory in southern Judah, 2Kg 18:13-14. When this happened, King Hezekiah went to God in prayer at the Temple in Jerusalem. He spread Sennacharib’s threatening & blasphemous letter out before the Lord and asked for deliverance. Isaiah brought God’s answer, saying “For His own name’s sake”, 2Kg 19:19, 34, God will deliver him & the city. This happened miraculously and was entirely dependent on Hezekiah asking God to prove that He was the only all-powerful true God, 2Kg. 19:32-37.

This fact proves that if we truly have only God’s interest, power and will at the center of our desires, even in sickness, God will do whatever it takes, to prove that His will is best and He will be glorified as the one and only true & living God. Whether we die, or live, if our aim is to prove God glorified, it will be done. We learn from Hezekiah’s life and prayer that we are destined to sin and nothing we are or have done can motivate God to deliver us, it is only our faithful submission to His glory & power that helps us get God’s will done for us. Christians are sinners, 1John 1:7-2:2, and we should pray accordingly, to help God’s fight over sin in our life to win. We should give others prayerful support and try to help them grow, Mat. 7:1-5, Romans 15:1.

Cornelius & Peter, see Acts 10:1-8. Deliverance in the life of Cornelius seemed to be more important to God than Cornelius himself. In all the piety and prayers of Cornelius, we see he is called a  “God-fearer”, v2. This means he was giving homage to the God of the Jews, but he was not a proselyte in Judaism in submission to circumcision. He was not in a covenant relationship with God. His deliverance or salvation was at stake, and that is exactly how God responds to him. Why? Because although Cornelius was not wholly in submission to God’s law in obedience, he was indeed acknowledging the Jewish God as the one and only true God. Therefore Peter was sent and the Kingdom of Christ entered the Gentile world. 

The Lost & The Christian, 2Tim. 2:25 & Rom. 10:1. We are to teach people to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, the one and only true God. This will bring about their salvation. Only God can do this, but He insists on using us as little “Isaiahs & Peters”. Grow therefore in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, so we can see God work to save the lost we live amoungst. Do we love them?

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