Open Your Bible
2 Kings 18:1-37, 2 Kings 19:1-37, Numbers 21:4-9, Isaiah 9:6-7
I remember waking up at night when I was a little girl and feeling the heat of a Florida summer in my grandparents’ house. Tiptoeing down the hallway that held childhood photos of my mom, her siblings, and a painting of Jesus (we’d always joke that He was the favorite child), I’d sneak into the bathroom for a sip of water, only to realize the adults were still awake. Quietly scurrying down the hallway and pausing where the carpet met the hardwood floors of the living room, I’d hide behind the entryway and listen in.
My Grandmother and Papa were almost always reading the Bible aloud to each other, taking turns reading chapters and nodding heads. Then, they’d bow their heads in prayer. I always felt an urge to leave when this happened, feeling that it was too intimate of a moment to secretly witness, but I was also extremely curious. What did adults talk about after the kids went to bed? What do they ask God for?
Sometimes I feel the same way when I read prayers in the Bible, and Hezekiah’s is no exception. He’d already declared, “Today day is a day of trouble” (2 Kings 19:3, NLT), and he was in deep mourning after receiving a report that confirmed the enemy’s dedication to to the destruction of Jerusalem. But as we read this account and get to peer into how someone else handles the darkness, there are two things that stand out.
First, Hezekiah doesn’t sugarcoat his situation. He doesn’t ignore how bad it is or try to find the silver lining right away. He is in trouble, and he is honest about it. Second, he immediately takes it to the house of God. He doesn’t spend time strategizing solutions or wondering, Why me? He doesn’t try to clean up the situation before he invites God into the mess of it.
God does not call us to deny our circumstances, nor does He ask us to sit in them alone. The words of Hezekiah’s prayer weren’t as important as the act of his asking. The same goes for us when we want to take note of the eloquent phrases our loved ones use in prayer, or when we feel like we don’t have any words left. Prayer is not a one-sided speech; it is an ongoing invitation to conversation with God. May we approach our own prayers in the darkness in the same way. May we see them as an opportunity to invite God into our daily lives and ask Him to intervene on our behalf. And may we pursue God in prayer, seeking to glorify Him and acknowledge His goodness, even when both seem hidden to us.