“About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill. “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you. “This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tear… I will add fifteen years to your life” Isaiah 38:1-5 NLT
Hezekiah was so bold to pray that prayer. He knew that God had more for him to do. Am I praying courageous prayers in faith? Or has the enemy got me so discouraged that I don’t?
“Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next. Think of it-the Lord is ready to heal me! I will sing his praises with instruments every day of my life in the Temple of the Lord.” Isaiah 39:19&20 NLT
I think about times when the Lord has answered my prayers and I journal about His faithfulness. And my faith is strengthened. But, I can also get forgetful. Did Hezekiah know that he would get discouraged to? That’s why he took the time to write his story? And he wanted the Lord to get the glory for what He did in his life, for generations to come?
“Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting. “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all the people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” Isaiah 40:3-4 NLT
Dear Lord, thank you that you are a God of restoration and redemption. Thank you for your grace. Thank you that you still perform miracles today. Even if the healing doesn’t come, you are still good. You are sovereign. I trust You. Amen.
“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” Isaiah 49:26 NLT
Filed under 66 Books, Isaiah
“All the majesty of beautiful Jerusalem has been stripped away. Her princes are like starving deer searching for pasture. They are too weak to run from pursuing the enemy. In the midst of her sadness and wondering, Jerusalem remembers her ancient splendor. But now she has fallen to her enemy, and there is no one to help her. Her enemy struck her down and laughed as she fell. Jerusalem has sinned greatly, so she has been tossed away like a filthy rag. All who once honored her now despise her, for they have seen her stripped naked and humiliated. All she can do is groan and hide her face. ” Lamentations 1:6-8 NLT
I feel the hopelessness in these verses. Having the wind knocked out of me and blindsided by attacks of the enemy. Times when I want to run and hide, instead of remembering the goodness of God. I am thankful for a God who rescues and pursues me. Who heals the innermost parts of my soul. Who tells me what to pray when I don’t know what to pray anymore. Who hears and answers my prayers in his timing not mine. James urges me to keep praying when I don’t see the miracle yet.
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield crops. My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about forgiveness of many sins.” James 5:16-19 NLT
What if Elijah thought his prayers didn’t matter, like I sometimes do?
“But Jerusalem will become a refuge for those who escape; it will be a holy place. And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance. The people of Israel will be a raging fire, and Edom a field of dry stubble. The descendants of Joseph will be a flame roaring across the field, devouring everything. There will be no survivors in Edom. I, the Lord, have spoken! The exiles of Israel will return to their land and occupy the Phoenician coast as far north as Zarephath. The captives from Jerusalem exiled in the north will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev. Those who have been rescued will go up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem to rule over the mountains of Edom. And the Lord himself will be king!” Obadiah 1:17-21 NLT
My prayers are effecting future generations.
Strongholds and generational bondage breaking.
Hearts turning back to him.
Dear Father, help me to trust you when I can’t see. Give me eyes to see your goodness. Help me not to hide in fear. But to live with a knowledge and hope in you. Thank you for your patience with me. Give me rest when I am weary. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.
“So here I am, an old man, a prisoner for Christ, making my loving appeal to you. It is on behalf of my child, whose spiritual father I became while here in prison; that is Onesimus. Formally he was not valuable to you, but now he is valuable to both of us. He is my very heart, and I’ve sent him back to you with this letter.” Philemon 1:10-12 TPT
Do I have spiritual parents pleading for me, like Paul was for Onesimus? I am thankful for the wisdom filled women that God has given me over the years. I pray for strong mentors in the life of my kids, who can fill the spaces that I can’t. My daughter has a youth leader who goes to battle for her mind. I have a Heavenly Father who is praying on my behalf. He knows when my heart has wondered and wants to see me reconciled back to him.
“I would have preferred to keep him here by my side so that he could take your place as my helper during my imprisonment for the sake of the gospel. However, I did not want to make this decision without your consent, so that your act of kindness would not be a matter of obligation but out of willingness. Perhaps you could think of it this way: he was separated from you for a short time so that you could have him back forever. So welcome him no longer as a slave, but more than that, as a dearly loved brother. He is that to me especially, and how much more so to you, both humanly speaking and in the Lord.” Philemon 1:13-16 NLT
Paul loved Onesimus, but he was willing to send him back to Philemon.
What do I need to let go of and trust the Lord with? Do I have faith that he can use every situation for good, like he did for Joseph?
“But he had already sent a man ahead of his people to Egypt; it was Joseph, who was sold as a slave. His feet were bruised by strong shackles and his soul was held by iron. God’s promise to Joseph purged his character until it was time for his dreams to come true. Eventually, the king of Egypt sent for him, setting him free at last.” Psalms 105:17-20 TPT
Thank you Father that you pursue me. That you don’t leave me where I am. Your heart aches when I wonder and you long for me to be restored back to you. You call me friend. I am grateful for your love. Amen.
“Don’t you ever forget his miracles and marvels. Hold to your heart every judgement he has decreed. For you are his servants, the true seed of Abraham, and you are the chosen ones, Jacob’s sons. For he is the Lord our God, and his wise authority can be seen in all he does. For though a thousand generations may pass away, he is still true to his word. He has kept every promise he made to Abraham and to Isaac.” Psalms 105:5-9 TPT
“And now the Lord speaks-the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:5&6 NLT
God has been teaching me about restoration. He is showing me that I want things done quickly, but it takes time (usually more than I think). It’s a process. It’s messy. It doesn’t always go as planned. God says, he “will do more than restore.” Restoration is not just about me. It is for others to see God’s glory. It takes the pressure off to feel like I have to do it on my own. I have to trust that he will use it for good. But, do I?
“The Sovereign Lord has given me words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he awakens me and opens my understanding to his will.” Isaiah 50:4 NLT
It’s a daily pressing into him. Knowing that he is the only one who can remove strongholds.
“Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” Isaiah 52:2 NLT
It’s when a new rug in my daughter’s room starts to look more like a prayer rug. It becomes holy ground. A place to fight the battle. To feel the presence of God. To feel his peace.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6&7 NLT
I rest in this promise…
“This is what the Lord says: “At just the right time I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you and give you to the people as my covenant with them.” Isaiah 49:8
Dear Father, Help me to remember that you hear and answer my prayers, even when it is hardest to pray. Thank you for showing me your love. Thank you that your mercies are new every morning. And that you are making all things new. I am praising you before the breakthrough. You already have the victory. Amen.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening…You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!” Psalms 92 NLT
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy-a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 NLT
I am seeing this verse in a new way. The extravagant temple that Solomon built is a parallel to my body, His temple. Am I surrendering it to Him?
He has set me apart.
He has made me holy.
He is watching over me.
He hears my prayers.
I am dear to his heart.
“They cried to the Lord for help, and he answered them. He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud, and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them. O Lord our God, you answered them. You were a forgiving God to them, but you punished them when they went wrong. Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem, for the Lord our God is holy!” Psalms 99:6-9 NLT
God spoke to Israel in the pillar of a cloud. There have been times when I have wondered why he isn’t speaking to me in ways that he is to someone else. I was recently asked to paint during the worship service at my church. This was a huge step of faith for me and a fear I had to overcome. One of my biggest stumbling blocks was that I didn’t know what to paint. I prayed for God to reveal an image to me. When he seemed to be silent, the doubt would creep in. I was frustrated when I would hear other artists tell of images that God gave them. But, he did answer me, it was just in a different way that I was expecting. He showed me that it wasn’t as much about what I was painting, as it was surrendering to him and breaking the bondage of old ways of thinking. He spoke through my pastor and his word. He provided in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. I could feel his peace and presence like never before.
“Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power! The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation! He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.” Psalms 98:1-3 NLT
Thank you Father that in you I have the victory. That you hear me. And you answer me. I praise you for who you are. Amen.