God Hears the Prayers of His People (Isaiah 38:4-5) - Radical
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God Hears the Prayers of His People (Isaiah 38:4-5)

“Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David, your Father. I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold I will add fifteen years to your life.'”
-Isaiah 38:4-5

What a testimony to the power and potential of prayer to God. The context here Hezekiah, the king is sick.

Isaiah 38:4-5 Reminds Us God Hears Our Prayers

God, who is all-wise and all-powerful, hears our prayers. So pray with confidence.

Isaiah 38:1 says he’s at the point of death. And so he prays for God to save him from death and give him more life. And God comes to him and says, “I’ve heard your prayer, I’ve seen your tears so behold I will add fifteen years to your life.”

There’s a lot of things we could discuss here based on Isaiah 38, but one of the things that’s crystal clear is that God does respond to our prayers, that God hears our prayers, and he answers our prayers like prayer really matters.

Isaiah 38:4-5 Reminds Us God Doesn’t Always Answer the Way We Want

Now the struggle is, there are some times when we might pray like this. I think about times in my life, and friends, and my family members lives, where we’ve prayed for healing, prayed for more life for people, and God has not given it.

We’ve prayed with tears for more life, and God has not given more life. And so there are without question circumstances, I would say often time circumstances, where we might pray things and God might not answer in this way. But the whole picture we see all over scripture is that we should pray, must pray, with confidence.

One, that God is always hearing us. And two, with confidence that our prayers do matter. God does respond to our prayers. That our prayers affect things in this world and our life and the lives of those around us.

And yes, things may not always happen the way we would like for them to happen or exactly as we ask, but this is where in light of all of we’re seeing in Isaiah we trust in God. We trust in the goodness of God. We trust in the grace of God, the sovereign leadership of God. None of us is perfect. None of us has all wisdom. We don’t know what is best.

It’s a good thing that as we pray, we’re praying for the God does who does know what is best. A God who we can trust, who knows better than our small minds know what is best for our good, and his glory, and his ultimate purposes to be in accomplished in the world.

This Verse Leads Us to Ask God for Faith In Our Prayer

So we pray God, help us to have faith in our praying. Even right now to believe, to realize that you are listening to us. Oh, what an awesome thought. Oh God, we’re not just saying some words and not just speaking out in the thin air, we are right now talking to you, the God of the universe. That you hear us. And that you will answer our prayers and none of our prayers ultimately are in vain.

And so God, as we pray for things that in our lives today, as we pray for things in other peoples lives today, help us to have faith in our praying. That you hear and you will answer according to your wisdom. And we praise you for that wisdom, God. We confess we don’t always understand why you answer certain prayers the way we have asked, and why you don’t answer other prayers the ways we’ve asked even with tears.

This Verse Leads Us to Ask God for Trust in Him

But God, we pray to you to help us to trust in you. And we pray, God, that when you answer in ways that are different from what we have asked, we pray that you would help us to continue to trust in you. That you would could keep that from becoming an excuse, or even a temptation for us to think okay then maybe prayer doesn’t matter. Help us to believe that prayer matters. That the process to trust in you is the one praying to as the one who hears us and responds according to what is best for the good of your people and the glory of your name.

We praise you. We praise you for this privilege of prayer. In Jesus name, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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