I hope to have a heart-to-heart with God when I reach heaven because I have a few questions that need answers. Here’s one: What difference does prayer make if You rule over everything and have established purposes for our lives from before creation?
I wrestle with this question occasionally. How can my measly petitions change the outcome of a particular situation if God already knows its ending? Why does God tell me to pray without ceasing, to pour out my heart to Him, to bring all my requests to Him when He holds the script? This is a mystery to me. And yet, I know that prayer changes things.
King Hezekiah knew it, too. That’s why he continually sought God’s help. When an enemy king sent him a threatening letter, he didn’t waste time wringing his hands in worry. Rather, he spread the letter before the Lord and prayed. And God answered. Immediately afterwards, Isaiah sent a message to Hezekiah saying, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says, “Because you prayed about King Sennacherib of Assyria, the LORD has spoken this word against him…” (Isaiah 37:21). Then came a promise of the enemy’s defeat.
What might have happened if Hezekiah had tried to fight the enemy without God’s help? Or what might have transpired if he’d thrown up his hands in despair and waved the white flag of surrender? Or what if he’d succumbed to fear and gone into hiding? Only God knows. But this one thing we know – Hezekiah prayed, and his prayer played a role in history.
Because you prayed…three words that can change everything.
How do those three words apply to us today? Here’s an example….
Cancer claimed the life of a friend last Friday. She was only 47. She leaves behind a grieving husband and two young children. People prayed, and prayed, and prayed for her healing but their prayers appeared unanswered. At least through our limited perspective.
And yet, when I read her blog written as she processed thoughts of dying and preparing for eternity, I see God’s presence with her. I see how He carried her through months of treatment and failing health. I see how He helped her learn to trust Him implicitly and come to a place of rest. When she died on Friday morning, she left this world wearing a smile. How might the past three years have been different for her if people hadn’t prayed on her behalf? She might have died an angry, bitter woman.
Because you prayed…three words that can change everything. No matter what you’re facing today, know that prayer works. Give God the honor He’s due as Hezekiah did, and then bare your heart to Him. Share your concerns with Him. Tell Him what’s causing you pain or driving you mad. And trust Him to move on your behalf.
How have you seen the truth behind these three words played out in your life?