For those of you who are subscribers… you will read this twice. I put 2010… instead of 2011 the first time. Sorry about that. Happy New Year everyone.
Today’s post is submitted by Kimberley Payne, one of our guest bloggers. Since it is the beginning of the New Year I thought we should focus on praying continually.
A Change of Mind
(“A Change of Mind” (no specific author) from NIV Women of Faith Study Bible, p. 1167)
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.
“‘This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.
The old adage says, “Prayer changes things.” Indeed, God relents after Hezekiah pleads for his life. When we pray, we touch the heart of God. Overall, God’s will for humanity doesn’t change. He won’t back away from certain decrees and promises he’s made. But when we pray, he may change the course of lives and nations within the limits of his overall will.
It’s not possible to understand fully God’s control versus our choices and prayers. But he does invite us to “pray continually” (I Th 5:17) — for his will, our desires, the needs and salvation of others. Jesus himself prays (Mt 14:23; Heb 7:25) and teaches his disciples to pray and not give up (Lk 18:8). Why would we do any less?
Thank you to all our readers. May we continue to learn and to grow with God this year. May He help us learn to connect with Him and open doors for His Holy Spirit to spread the Good News to everyone.