"Go back and tell Hezekiah, prince of my people, 'God's word, Hezekiah! From the God of your ancestor David: I've listened to your prayer and I've observed your tears. I'm going to heal you. In three days you will walk on your own legs into The Temple of God. 2 Kings 20:5 (MSG)
When I was a kid, the representative of a prestigious private school on the east coast came to speak to my class. It was a mesmerizing presentation and, for some reason, I got this silly notion that I should move away from home and attend the very expensive and very distant academy. I still remember approaching my parents that night and pleading my case for why I should move away from home and attend the private boarding school (at their expense). I should give my parents credit for not laughing to my face.
Sometimes I think of prayer as a word picture. I picture all of these immature little children pleading their self-centered desires before their father. At the time, my parents dismissal of the strong desire I felt to attend private school seemed callous and unfeeling. I look back now and realize what a wacky idea it was. It would not have been good for me or for my family.
Sometimes God answers prayer with startling efficiency and potency, as with Hezekiah in today's chapter. Other times, I feel like I plead incessantly with little response. It's good for me to remember that I petition God out of the limited and self-centered perspective of my momentary circumstances and desires. God responds to my prayer out of an all-encompassing wisdom rooted in the omniscient knowledge of who I was, who I am, and who I will ultimately come to be.