Week 30: I Have Heard Your Prayer

Week 30: I Have Heard Your Prayer

Today’s Text: Second Kings 16-20

Key Text: Second Kings 20:5

“Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD.’ “

He had been told he was going to die. “Put your affairs in order.” That was the prophet Isaiah’s word to this faithful king. He reacted like many of us might – with bitter tears. But he also reacted as some might not – he prayed – with great humility and with great fervor.

God heard that prayer – and added fifteen years to his life.

God does not always answer prayers for healing in this way. Only God ultimately knows what is best in any given situation. But God does sometimes intervene in the most miraculous of ways. At least, that is the testimony of Scripture.

What are we to do with stories like this?

How do we adequately wrestle with the great issue of why some receive miraculous physical healing, and others do not?

I have no easy answers to that dilemma.

But I encourage you, nevertheless, to trust God, as best you can.

In my life, time and again, I have faced situations which – at the time – did not make sense to me. I could not easily find what great purpose God was working out by events occurring in some confusing, sometimes very painful ways.

I have struggled against the dark feelings and thoughts that come in those times when my prayers, fervent as they are, have not been answered as I desire.

Still, I have also experienced – many times – that if I only hold on in faith, eventually, I begin to see some purpose in it all.

It isn’t easy to do – and it requires strong faith.

Many times I have had to pray, as one man did, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

But God is faithful, God is loving, and God is merciful.

God says, sometimes in ways I cannot understand at the time, “I have heard your prayer.”

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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