If you are not on Facebook, then you may not know I make short instructional videos called Prayer Tools. The content is biblical, and encourages us to draw from God’s Word for prayer strategy. The videos are on YouTube, so I invite you to search “prayer tool,” watch, and if led, comment.
Today’s Prayer Tool is How to Pray When Threatened. This is the first written entry to accompany a video. The backstory is important to consider.
YouTube Video: Prayer Tool: How to Pray When Threatened
Scripture Context: Isaiah 36 – 37:1-20
King Sennacherib (pronounced seh-NAK-er-ihb) of Assyria sent high-ranking Assyrian military officers to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem with a message (36:1-2). Three of King Hezekiah’s men met the messengers — the house manager, the secretary, and the recorder (v. 3).
Here is the gist of the message:
- Your trust in God is misplaced (36:4-7)
- The Lord wants me to destroy you (vv. 8-10)
- Don’t let Hezekiah trick you into trusting God for deliverance (vv. 13-20)
The men received the message in silence, then reported to King Hezekiah with their clothes torn. King Hezekiah tore his clothes, covered himself in sackcloth and ashes, and sent a delegation to Prophet Isaiah to pray for the remnant (vv. 36:21-37:5). Isaiah gives a message from God: Do not fear. I will put a spirit in Sennacherib so he will hear a rumor and return to his land. I will make Sennacherib fall by the sword in his own land (vv. 37:6-7).
When Sennacherib’s messengers returned home, the messengers found the King of Assyria fighting… according to the word of the Lord through Isaiah (37:8-13).
Look at the map. Sennacherib was traveling from Lachish (bottom left of Judah) around Hebron and up to Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead of him, and was turned around on his journey fighting in Libnah (left of Lachish on the border). Only the messengers made it to Hezekiah, and prayer unctioned a response through God’s prophet to turn him back. (Let that bless you!)
King Hezekiah takes the letter from King Sennacherib’s messengers, reads it, and goes to the house of the Lord to spread the letter before the Lord (37:14). King Hezekiah prays in verses 16-20, and gives us a model of the prayer to pray when we receive threats from an enemy. Here is the layout of the prayer:
- Approach the Lord of hosts. Hezekiah basically says, “I am king, but You are LORD of all the kingdoms of the earth.” (v. 16)
- Incline and hear, open and see. Hezekiah invites God’s intervention. God, hear us. God, see us. God, take note of Sennacherib’s words that mock You. (v. 17)
- Make the case against Assyria. Assyria only destroys, and their idols are no gods at all. (vv. 18-19)
- Petition for deliverance. Now Lord, save us from the hand of Sennacherib, so all earthly kingdoms know you are the Lord. (v. 20)
Next week we will show in a prayer tool how the Lord responds to this prayer. Go on, read ahead! Selah, and love to all.