I think it’s safe to say people who believe in God also believe prayer is an important part of “believing life.” Then come the questions: Should I pray, when should I pray, do I even need to pray, am I a bother to God, is my request too insignificant, does it really matter anyway… after all, God is GOD and able to do whatever He wants to do, so why does He need or want me to pray?
Instead of attempting to address each question, let me instead refer to a situation found in the book of Isaiah 37. There was a king of Assyria named Sennacherib who had decidedhe was going to capture and destroy Hezekiah and his kingdom of Judah.
When Hezekiah heard of the threats of Sennacherib, the Bible says “he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord.” He sent a couple of his assistants immediately to the prophet Isaiah to find out what God had to say about what was about to happen. God spoke to Isaiah and it was related to Hezekiah, “Do not be afraid of what you have heard…I’ll take care of it.”
God said He was going to take care of the situation, but Sennacherib continued to threaten and try to intimidate Hezekiah. Scripture reports when Hezekiah read the continued threats, “he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread the letter out before the Lord and PRAYED.” Hezekiah prayed and called out to God, even though God had already said He was going to take care of the situation.
Here’s the key verse … after he had prayed, Isaiah sent a message to Hezekiah which said: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Because you have prayed to Me concerning Sennacherib…he will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here… I will defend this city and save it.” At that point an angel of the Lord went out and took out 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp and soon after, Sennacherib himself was killed.
The point is this, God said to Hezekiah, “Because you have prayed to Me…I will defend.” In response to prayer, God moved.
So if you ever wonder if God is listening, He is. In fact He may be waiting, waiting for you to pray and ask for His help and guidance.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew: 7:7-8)
Louie Locke is the pastor of Fountainhead Foursquare Church, 3690 U.S. Highway 395. For information, go to www.ffcwired.org.