2 KINGS 19, HEBREWS 1, HOSEA 12, PSALM 135-136

2 Kings 19:20
"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard."

One of the blessings in God's Word is the written prayers.

Hezekiah received the letter from Sennacherib describing what he had planned for Jerusalem. Assyria seemed unstoppable in their conquest of other nations. The ten northern tribes, the nation of Israel, was decimated and its citizens were taken into captivity in other territories controlled by Assyria. All the fortified cities of Judah except Jerusalem were already captured.

Hezekiah took the letter to the house of the LORD and spread it before Him. Then he prayed. The prayer is very simple. Hezekiah describes the One to whom he pleads and then asks to be heard by the One who is God alone. He acknowledges the situation Jerusalem faces seems dire because Assyria has laid waste all these other nations but those nations worshiped gods of their own making. But Judah worshiped and trusted the LORD, the God of Israel, God alone.

Another of the blessings of God's Word are the answers He provides.

"Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of ruins." (2 Kings 19:25)

The Holy One of Israel responds to Hezekiah's plea for salvation by declaring Himself to be exactly who Hezekiah believed Him to be. He alone from days of old makes plans and brings them to pass. Scripture proves that from beginning to end.

This passage convicts me of my prayerlessness. Knowing God's steadfast love endures forever, having the evidence of His faithfulness to His people displayed over and over, understanding all He has done to have a relationship with me, why would my conversations with Him be so intermittent. Why would I not fulfill Paul's command to "Pray without ceasing?"

Years ago, I found a poem by Theodore Monod that described better than I ever could the relationship I desire with Jesus. Just as Hezekiah laid the letter before the LORD and prayed, I put this poem before Him as my prayer for myself and you.

None of Self and All of Thee
Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
"All of self, and none of Thee."

Yet He found me, I beheld Him
Bleeding on the cursed tree,
Heard Him pray, "Forgive them, Father,"
And my wistful heart said faintly
"Some of self and some of Thee."

Day by day his tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong, and so patient
Brought me lower while I whispered
"Less of self and more of Thee."

Higher than the highest heavens,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last hath conquered:
Grant me now my soul's petition
"None of self, and all of Thee."