I was reading through Isaiah this morning and the Lord revealed something to me that I thought I would share with you.
In Isaiah 36 Assyria held the kingdom of Judah under siege. The Scripture tells us they had a ‘huge army’ to confront King Hezekiah. Assyria was definitely planning on taking over. When Hezekiah learned the of report from his officials in chapter 37, prayed and sought the council of the prophet Isaiah.
What I found the most interesting was not what Hezekiah prayed, but how. See, he started out by proclaiming the majesty and sovereignty of God saying, “You are enthroned between the mighty cherubim!” “You alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth.” Then, he asked God to look down upon them, to listen to the words of defiance Assyria said against him. Hezekiah even acknowledged the power Assyria held in that part of the world saying, “It is true that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these [other] nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them.” But then Hezekiah says this…
“Of course they could destroy them! They were not gods at all – only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” Isaiah 37:19b-20
See, Hezekiah didn’t simply ask for the protection of himself or his people. He could have and most of us would probably think nothing more of it. Yes, he did ask to be rescued, but if you notice it was conditional. His condition to be rescued was based on the belief that The Lord is the one and only God. That God’s name would be what was spoken throughout the kingdoms at the time. See, Hezekiah wanted The Lord to be lifted up. He wanted Assyria and all the kingdoms of earth to know the power and sovereignty of God.
That struck me hard. In the face of death and destruction, Isaiah only wanted the Lord’s name to be protected. So many, many times I pray for the betterment of myself or my situation. I ask for health, financial blessing and protection against the evils of the world. I pray selfishly.
Here is where I was challenged and want to challenge you. When we pray, for ourselves, our families or our situations, are we praying with a kingdom mindset? Do you pray with a mindset thats sole purpose is to advance the kingdom of God? A mindset that brings Jesus from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth?
I would like for us all to examine our prayers, to ask ourselves, “Am I praying for something that greatly impacts the kingdom of God?”
So, how do you pray?