Friday, July 30, 2010

Week 5, Day 5 - Pray For Our Country (Part 1)

2 Kings 19:9-20

All week, I have been exploring how to pray for people in our life as well as people who are spiritual, political, and professional leaders. I have always considered prayer important, but I have to admit that the more I study prayer and how to pray for others, the more I realize that I am not praying enough. I have also found my prayers changing from focusing so much on myself and God to focusing on God touching the people in my life. Because I have recently started keeping a prayer journal, I have been remembering to pray for others in my life on a regular basis rather than offering up a quick prayer when I think of it. There is nothing wrong with offering a prayer for someone as they come to mind; however, if that is all our prayer life consists of it is like snacking all day rather than eating full meals. I also want to bring back the idea that God enjoys and wants our participation and gave us the gift of prayer. Isn’t it amazing that our God, who is greater than anything or anyone, gave us the gift of prayer so we can come to Him? Today I want to start looking at how we can pray for our country. Please look up 2 Kings 19:9-20.

King Hezekiah was a king who honored God; in fact, the Bible tells us there was no king in Judah before or after him who trusted and followed God the way he did. Hezekiah turned Judah back to God and took down all the altars that people used to sacrifice to other Gods. As a result, God was with him and made him successful in whatever he did. Meanwhile, in Israel, the Assyrians had attacked and defeated the Israelites and deported them throughout the empire. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, was powerful and relied entirely of his strength, so when he came to Judah he began threatening Judah. In 2 Kings 19:9-13, we read the last threat and insult Sennacherib made to Judah and God. Hezekiah prayed to God pleading with Him to save Judah and show all the nations that God is the one and only God. In verse 20, God tells Hezekiah He heard his prayer. I will tell you that God saved Judah by putting 85,000 Assyrian soldiers to death over night (2 Kings 19:35).

Hezekiah recognized something important that today we easily miss; he saw that this wasn’t just a crucial battle to save the country, but it was a spiritual battle as well. Assyria was mocking God and the idea that God is sovereign. This is not a foreign idea today; we have radical enemies that do not look at us just as a country, but they see a spiritual battle as well and insult God. Unfortunately, they refuse to accept that God’s hand allows and disallows rulers and countries to exist (Isaiah 40:21-24). Please read what God’s reply is to Sennacherib in 2 Kings 19:25-28. Just as I wrote yesterday, God is in control, but He wants our participation through prayer. God’s answer to Hezekiah’s prayer wasn’t, “I’ve got it under control, why are you praying?” His answer was, “…I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria,” 2 Kings 19:20. Praise God, He hears our prayers!

On Monday, I will continue how we need to pray for our country. Today, I want to focus on the fact that God wants us to pray for our country and for its protection. Are you praying for your country?

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