King Hezekiah was in a desperate situation. Sennacherib of Assyria was at his gates, threatening to overthrow the city of Jerusalem and Judah. And Assyria had a perfect record in defeating and demolishing all the opponents they had previously come up against.
Hezekiah took his problem to the Lord, laying out Sennacherib’s letter before Him in the temple. The prophet Isaiah delivered the Lord’s reply:
20 Then Isaiah…sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.’
32 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria:
‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it.
33 By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.
34 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’” 2 Kings 19:20,32-34 NKJV
It has been my observation that the Lord rarely uses the same method of deliverance twice. For example, Jesus would heal people using a variety of methods, sometimes touching, sometimes not, one time in close proximity, another from afar. In this case, Judah’s defense was not by an earthquake or an internal squabble amongst the enemy to turn them away. Sennacherib’s huge army was simply struck down dead by the angel of the Lord, before even a single arrow could be shot into Jerusalem. God had heard Hezekiah’s prayer, and used Isaiah to confirm it.
One time while on a prison ministry weekend, I was in a motel praying earnestly to the Lord. I was on my knees praying for my mother while my roommate was in another room taking a shower. I began to cry while praying and, being a bit embarrassed by the tears, tried to cover my face when my roommate finished and came out. But instead, he spoke to tell me what had just happened to him:
“While I was in the shower, the Lord spoke to me. He told me that you were out here praying for a relative. I don’t know if it was a sister or brother, father or mother, but He told me that He heard your prayer.”
Wow, was I ever stunned! I can begin to imagine how Hezekiah must have felt when Isaiah brought him a similar message: “I have heard your prayer.”
In Exodus 2, we learn that God sent Moses to free the Egyptians from slavery in Egypt after He had “heard their groaning”. God also heard the heart-felt prayers of Jonah, Elijah, David and all other men and women who seek His face when confronted by an overwhelming challenge.
As for Sennacherib, he returned home the way he came to Assyria, stung by his first major military defeat. A short time later, he was overthrown and killed by his own sons while worshiping in the temple of his god. All his boasting and defiance against the Lord had resulted in a great disaster for him and his nation.
Can you recall a time when God made clear to you that He had heard your prayer?
What do you need God to hear from you in this moment?
Lord, thank You for hearing my prayer today. I lift my heart-felt need to You, asking for relief and deliverance. Help me to walk with You in faith in both good times and bad. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen