Throughout human history, men and nations have risen to abort the activity of God. There is a deep agenda behind this, and there is One who orchestrates such battles.
This is not a flesh-and-blood war, and it cannot be fought or won with flesh-and-blood weapons. (See Ephesians 6:10-19.)
Our Current Crisis
We see in bold relief now that a battle is raging around us. It has always been there, but it seems clearer now. So how do we approach the attack we see on the name of God and His righteousness?
If we try to use the arm of flesh, we will most surely fail. But there is another way. It is the way taken by all the great men and women of God who accomplished things thought impossible.
In Isaiah 37:14-20, the prophet tells us Hezekiah’s approach when the overwhelming armies of the enemy mocked his God and threatened the extinction of God’s people.
We Must Understand What’s Happening
Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it …
The cause of Christ is not well served by hiding our heads in the sand and failing to understand the current events swirling around us as a direct assault on the kingdom of God. We should be good students of our culture so that, like the men of Issachar, we can understand the times to know how to respond.
We Must Run to the Presence of God
… and he went up to the house of the LORD …
We can run to all of the world’s best defenses, or run to each other, or run in fear. But our response should be like Hezekiah’s—we must immediately seek the presence of our God. God sees who we run to in crisis, and He honors those who come quickly to Him.
We Must Lay the Issues Before Him
… and spread it out before the LORD.
Coming to the Lord in honesty, with all our fears and concerns and questions, is the right step. Laying it all before Him with raw transparency is needed. God knows what’s happening more than we do, and He desires honesty in every detail.
We Must PRAY!
Hezekiah prayed to the LORD.
Hezekiah’s response was not to turn to his generals or to the people. He went one place and had one response. He prayed to the Lord.
God always honors the approach that honors Him. Hezekiah would have nothing but God, and God delighted in his faith. And He will do the same for us.
Notice the important contents of the prayer. Our prayers should be like Hezekiah’s if we are to receive the response from heaven that he enjoyed.
- Begin by acknowledging God’s ability and power.
O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
- Remind God that this is a direct assault against Him and that this is our main concern.
Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God.
- Acknowledge that all victories of the Enemy have been against false and futile gods.
Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.
- Cry out for God’s deliverance with a purified purpose: that the world may know that there is only one true God!
Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, LORD, are God.
Prayer Changes History
God assures Hezekiah that He will respond against the Enemy for one reason: Because you have prayed to Me (v. 21).
Prayer accelerates God’s response. There are some things God will do regardless of our prayerlessness. But there are other things that will never be accomplished if we do not pray.
Listen carefully: You can try every other response imaginable to our current crisis. None will work.
Faith-filled, obedient prayer is God’s singular plan. Nothing else so glorifies Him.
When will we learn this and begin to pray?