To be honest, I wasn’t such a big fan of prayers in my early days as a Christian. I was one of those who thought that if God is an omniscient God, He would know what I want without me needing to inform Him.
But as God would have it, I “metanoia” over the years through reading books and listening to my pastor’s sermons (in fact, one of his sermons was titled: “Why Pray If God is All-Knowing“… talk about a clear sign from God!)
Suffice to say, I have remained a praying-Christian ever since.
Anyway… just wanted to share a story in 2 Kings 19 which is a great illustration of the benefit of prayers.
At that time, the all-conquering Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent a message to King Hezekiah of Judah, first belittling his God and threatening to destroy Judah if the latter did not surrender.
Hezekiah, knowing they were no match for the powerful Assyrian forces, could only pray:
Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth… Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”
(2 Kings 19:15-19)
And this was God’s reply to him through prophet Isaiah:
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.’
(2 Kings 19:20)
So it came to pass… that on a certain night the angel of the Lord went out, and destroyed the Assyrian armies, killing one hundred and eighty-five thousand of them.
With his troops decimated, Sennacherib ran back to Nineveh, and was eventually murdered by his own sons Adrammelech and Sharezer while worshiping in the temple of Nisroch, his god.
As God had said, it was all because Hezekiah prayed…
The power of a praying king.