Photo by Timothy Eberly
In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD,’ Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.”Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Now, O LORD, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: Turn back and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer: I have seen your tears. Behold I will heal you. And I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake. 2 Kings 20:1-6
Hezekiah was the king of Judah. He began his reign when he was 25 years old. He had a Godly mother. ( 2 Kings 18:2) Hezekiah was a righteous king, we are told he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD according to all that David his father had done. ( 2 Kings 18: 3). He was a great reformist- he cleaned out idolatry from Judah. He wasn’t just determined to serve God. He was also determined to lead Judah back to God.
During his fourteenth-year reign in Judah, he fell sick to the point of death. God sent Isaiah the prophet to tell him he was going to die. Hezekiah cried to the Lord and God added him fifteen more years.
God hears prayer
Hezekiah was a prayerful king. This is not the first prayer that is recorded. He was a man of prayer just like his father David was. Whenever he had trouble, Hezekiah didn’t run to his friends, mother, or even the prophets. He ran to God, he sought God in prayer. And even when the word from the LORD comes to him about his death. He knew God well enough to know he could petition for a different answer. When he prayed God answered. God answered his prayer so quickly that we are told the prophet hadn’t even left the palace when God sends him back to Hezekiah with the answer to his prayer.
We can be encouraged by this, that God hears and wants to answer our prayer. The psalmist has this sweet reminder, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.” Psalm 34:15 Hezekiah had a history with God. He knew the God who answered prayer and didn’t hesitate to pray for life.
What are you asking God for in this season? Are you convinced that God answers prayer? Are you convinced that God has good things in store for you? Do you run to your prayer closet whenever you encounter a problem or do you run elsewhere? We can pray out of a relationship like Hezekiah or we can pray to God only when we face trouble. When we have a prayer routine, it becomes our default whenever we face trouble.
The sovereignty of God
There is so much confusion about the sovereignty of God. Some people believe that everything that happens to us is under the sovereign hand of God. This is partly true, God has never left His throne or negated His role as Lord overall. However, we see in scripture that there are things that were subject to change because men prayed. If Hezekiah would have said, “Okay God,” He would have died. But because he prayed he was able to access the mercy of God and change what God had spoken.
There are things that God will invite us into so we can co-labor with him. We can see that because Hezekiah prayed, he was able to alter a word from God. He got a different answer because he prayed. Sometimes it’s this simple, we don’t have a different outcome or answer because we haven’t prayed.
However, some things in our lives will be unchangeable because God’s sovereignty is over them. We see this with Moses when he tries to negotiate with God about going into Canaan. God’s word was no and it was final. ( Deuteronomy 3:23-27) Moses couldn’t change the decree of the Lord( And he was the one who saw God face to face). God’s sovereignty is revealed to us here.
We never know what is subject to change until we pray. We see the importance of prayer in this. We pray to change the things that can change, other times, we pray for the grace to submit to the will of God even when we don’t like it.
Submitting to His will
Even though it’s amazing to see a man being able to alter a decree from the Lord. Hezekiah can also be an example to us of trusting God’s sovereign will over us. Because he petitioned God, Hezekiah was added fifteen more years to his life.
During these fifteen years, he fathered a son by the name Manasseh. Manasseh reigned for fifty-five years in Judah. He was the longest reigning king both in Israel and Judah. Manasseh was so evil that God said of him.
“Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done more wickedly above all that the Amorites did who were before him and he has made Judah also to sin with his idols. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: behold, I am bringing such evil against Jerusalem and Judah that whoever hears both his ears shall tingle.” 2 Kings 21:11-12
The son of righteous Hezekiah was the evilest King who ever reigned in Judah. He was so evil that God said he was worse than the Amorites who were heathens. He also made Judah sin so that they came under judgment.
Perhaps God ending Hezekiah’s life at 39 years was for the protection of Hezekiah’s legacy and Judah. Because of this son, Hezekiah’s legacy of reforming Judah was completely erased. He undid all of his father’s righteous hard work and went so deep into idolatry that it was irreparable. God in His Omniscience could see what Manasseh would do. But Hezekiah was happy to interfere with God’s protection by choosing to live longer even though it wasn’t going to be beneficial to him or Judah.
Sometimes, the best prayer we can pray is, “ God, your will be done, not mine but yours.” With the understanding that God can see things in the future that we can’t quite see. We can trust His will because we know He always has our best interests at heart.
Hezekiah was the king who prayed and changed God’s decree, he is also the king who interfered with God’s sovereign will and brought so much damage to his legacy and Judah.
Oh! That God would help us to know the difference between the things that are subject to change( so we can pray) and those that reveal His sovereignty in our life( so we can submit to Him in them).
Prophetic Intercession-Elijah’s prayer
6 thoughts on “HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER”
Lucy, I very much enjoyed reading this. The story of Hezekiah was one that captured my attention as it was such an encouragement to answered prayer. But I never paid attention to what happened to his legacy and to Judah with the extension of the 15 years he got and had Manessah. You really have made me think. Thank you my friend for so diligently studying and sharing scripture.
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Thank you my friend!
I also love Hezekiah’s story. Manasseh story is quite tragic when you read it.
I praise God for enabling me to be able to bring out new as well as old gems from His word. I love God’s word as I know you do. May He helps us to continue in His Word and to reveal Him through the Scripture.
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This is good perspective. Chewing on this truth.
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Amen and blessings!
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