The Miracle and Mystery of PrayerDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city.' "
As Isaiah 38 begins, King Hezekiah was deathly ill. In fact, Isaiah came to him with a word from the Lord that Hezekiah would soon die. In response to this bad news, Hezekiah prayed, reminding God of Hezekiah’s own faithfulness. Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.
After this tearful prayer, Isaiah brought a new message. God was going to add fifteen years to Hezekiah’s life! Moreover, he would soon rescue him and Jerusalem from the Assyrians. What fantastic news! How glad Hezekiah must have been, and his people along with him.
This story confronts us with the miracle and mystery of prayer. God healed Hezekiah, doing that which required supernatural power. This is the miracle. The mystery comes in the fact that God seemed to change his mind in response to Hezekiah’s prayer. In a way we will never fully understand, the Sovereign God allows us to participate in the unfolding of his will. Thus, when we pray, we submit to God’s will and, at the same time, tell God what we’d like him to do. Mysteriously and graciously, God receives our counsel and, at times, even acts upon our requests.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you experienced the miracle of prayer? How do you respond to the mystery of prayer?
PRAYER: Mighty and mysterious God, your ways are wonderful. And your ways are perplexing. You are sovereign over all things. Yet you listen to our prayers, somehow working them into your plans for the universe. I expect I’ll never quite understand this mystery, at least this side of the age to come. Yet, in faith, I pray. I pray because you’ve told me to do it. I pray because I’ve experienced the miracle of prayer. I pray because I believe that you take my prayers seriously. I pray because, as I do, I draw near to you, sensing your presence and receiving your peace. Dear Lord, may I pray with greater faith, greater hope, greater wisdom. Even as I tell you what I want you to do, may I be guided by your Spirit to pray according to your will. Amen.