On August 1st, 2021, Pleasant View Baptist Church has committed to read 2 Kings 20-21. This is part of the reading schedule we do called “Doing It by the Book”. There have been a few times when we read about prayer changing things. Not one of those times is any more significant than this one. Can a prayer change the mind of God?
I’m sure if I were sitting around a courtyard at a seminary somewhere and asked this same question to a few students, many of them, perhaps most of them, maybe even all of them would say, “No. God is sovereign. He never changes.” Well, the historical account found in 2 Kings 20:1-11 might be something difficult for these same students to deal with. I can hear them stumble, as I would, and as I have heard others, as they say, “That was God’s will all along. It just took this event to line King Hezekiah up with the will of God.” I can see that. Still, God’s Word shows us that He was going to take King Hezekiah’s life, but after his prayer God decided to give him another 15 years.
We have faced several difficult losses this past eighteen months. I do not believe we should always pray for a person’s life to be extended here on this earth. Some have fought the good fight and are ready to go home to heaven. We should not pray them out of heaven for any length of time. Still, King Hezekiah’s prayer was answered with an extension of 15 years. Is it wrong to pray for something like this? No. Will God always answer us the same way He answered this king? No.
History shows us King Hezekiah was one of the few good kings. This might have played into God’s decision to give him another 15 years. Even so, I think the key is to focus on his prayer. He did not ask for more years. He merely asked God to remember his faithfulness. I believe God remembered Jimmy Harris’ faithfulness by bringing him home to heaven. I believe God remembered Hezekiah’s faithfulness by giving him 15 more years to reign on earth. Can we pray for God to remember our faithfulness? I hope so. May the people of PVBC be found faithful.
In Jesus’ plan,
Pastor Jerry Jeter