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"I love the sense of satisfaction that I get when I’ve done a swimming workout or race, and know that I gave my whole being and heart to God in every moment of the swim. It’s the best worship I can offer him."

Penny Heyns

Hezekiah’s prayer

Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: ‘LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.’ 2 Kings 19:14-16, 19

A significant part of my calling is to pray for athletes. I am always looking for help in knowing how to pray. (Didn’t Jesus’ disciples ask him to teach them to pray?)

There are so many things we can learn about prayer from this passage. I love the way Hezekiah showed the letter to God. How silly, as God knew all that was in the letter before Hezekiah did. BUT that is an essential part of prayer – telling God things he already knows! [Think that through logically, if God knows everything, then we don’t need to pray but the Bible constantly encourages us to pray!]

The content of the prayer is simple and theologically sound. He proclaims God’s sovereignty, asks God to honour his own name and prays for deliverance. As we pray we need to remember who God is and then to be specific in what we ask for. Earlier in this chapter (verse 4), Hezekiah asked Isaiah to pray for him. That did not stop him praying himself. Mary Evans, writing on this passage says, “We need sometimes to ask for prayer without assuming that our own prayers are less likely to be answered”.

I read an email today from an athlete who was struggling with why he got injured just after someone had prayed for him. It is a hard question and I don’t know the answer. Faith involves believing in God even when it is not easy.

Today, pray for what you are anxious about – injury, the next competition, big decisions to me made. Ask someone to pray for you – but also pray for yourself! And pray for someone else. If you have a symbol of the issue – like Hezekiah’s letter – show it to God

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