Two weeks to live. This is what doctors told a longtime, christian friend four weeks ago. During those four weeks, I have found myself questioning how to even pray. Since he is in a lot of pain, I have prayed for comfort. But I have also found myself thinking God has a plan and obviously our days are numbered. So is there any point in praying for the healing of a man who is suffering and doctors say has very little time left to live?
Satan had planted the seed in my heart and mind that there was no reason to pray for anything more than comfort in his last days. Today, God showed me that He is still in control, and, yes, He does have a plan. But just because doctors have numbered a man’s days does not mean that God is finished with him. I also realized that my attitude has been one of little faith.
In Isaiah 38, King Hezekiah became ill and was near death when God told him in verse one that he would not recover. As most of us would in his situation, Hezekiah cried out reminding God of his faithfulness. Then in verse five God said, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.”
Did Hezekiah’s prayer change God’s mind or was this part of His plan all along? I don’t know, but I do know that God wants to hear our prayer and he wants us to be persistent in seeking His will. 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence that we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” There are other examples in the Bible similar to Hezekiah’s where God changes His plans as a result of someone’s prayer. Ultimately God is in control, but our prayer can effectively bring about results when our true desire is for God’s will rather than our own.
Satan wants us to lose heart in the power of prayer. He wants us to be discouraged so that we don’t recognize and utilize the power of our prayers. James 5:16 says, “The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” Hezekiah’s prayer was urgent and God’s answer to extend his life was just what Hezekiah had requested. What if Hezekiah had given up and hadn’t prayed as he did? I’m sure the outcome would have been different.
Just because the circumstances seem hopeless doesn’t mean we should give up. Lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith, but persistent prayer shows an absolute trust in God. Pour out your heart to God. Make your requests known to Him and seek His will. Don’t believe Satan’s lie that your prayers don’t matter. When things are out of your control, pray as if every aspect of the situation hinges solely on your prayer. It may be just the one God is waiting to hear!
Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.~ Corrie Ten Boom
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- Why Pray? (therealmalika.com)