2 Kings 20
At the start of this chapter, Hezekiah was seriously ill and Isaiah prophesied over him telling him that God had said he was going to die. Hezekiah cries out to God and reminds God that he has walked faithfully with God throughout his life. In those times long life was seen as a sign of God’s favour so for him to have died middle aged would have been seen as God’s judgement on him. Hence why Hezekiah prays and doesn’t actually ask God to heal him but reminds God of how he has walked his life with God in wholehearted devotion.
What happens next is that God sends another message through Isaiah saying that Hezekiah will actually live! See prayer makes a difference. Sometimes we can get disheartened and feel like our prayers aren’t getting anywhere but perseverance is key as God hears every prayer whether spoken or in our hearts. He is always listening and loves us to come to Him. Never give up!
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (AMP) reminds us ‘be unceasing and persistent in prayer’.
Paul was reminding the Thessalonians and us too that we need to have a lifestyle of prayer. In spending time in prayer we grow in our relationship with God and become closer and closer to Him. This is how our faith grows.
James 4:8a says ‘Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.’
God is waiting for us to come to Him! He longs for us to spend more time with Him. As any good parent loves to spend time with their children, how much more does the Perfect Father want to spend time with us?
In these days, God used specific chosen people (prophets) to share His messages and speak through such as Isaiah here in this passage. Isaiah invested in his relationship with God and spent time with Him. As a result he learned to hear God’s voice clearly. He was obedient so God used him to share God’s words and messages to others. We see in this passage God used Him twice to deliver personal messages to Hezekiah and once to talk about a sign that what he was saying would happen. God also used Isaiah to deliver a prophecy that was for the future after Hezekiah as a warning of what would happen.
Since Jesus has restored our relationship with God, hearing God’s voice (prophecy, words of knowledge and encouragement) is now for us all. God speaks to all of us – are we listening?
Shawn Bolz in his Exploring the Prophetic book says:
Our ability to manifest spiritual fruit in the prophetic depends on our union with the Holy Spirit, not on our gifts or skill levels. We all have God’s Spirit in us, and the Holy Spirit makes God’s gifts available to us. This means we can desire to grow in words of knowledge, prophecy etc. pursue growth, and excel in it. Paul told everyone to pursue the spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 14:1). If God commands us to pursue something—[as we do we know we’re in line with His will]. We need to desire these gifts, and our desire will create a home for them in us. When we engage in practicing each of the gifts, we begin to grow in them. The exercising of the gifts actually allows us to maintain, grow, and perfect the gifts within us.
Lets keep pursuing God passionately through prayer – we know this makes a difference. And also through listening – seeking His voice and listening to what He is saying, through the Holy Spirit, and sharing it as He leads us to. As long as the words are encouraging and edifying we can be a blessing to people by showing them love in this way. This is something that can be very easily done through social media, email, texts, phone calls or even letters – some of the only things that have not been restricted in some way at the moment! Let’s make the most of it!
If you don’t feel like you’ve ever heard from God before, just spend time quietly listening and write down or draw any pictures, feelings, words, impressions, thoughts that come into your mind – pray about what you have written and see what particularly stands out to you as God leads you. Sometimes, yes, it will be our own thoughts but as we keep practising this we learn to hear and recognise God’s voice more clearly.
At this time where lots of us have a bit of extra time on our hands, why not invest this time in speaking to and listening to God and see how He grows you.