Sermons

Summary: The Power of Prayer

Because You Prayed (2nd Choron 7:11-14)

Intro: Dodie Gadient, a schoolteacher for thirteen years, decided to travel across America and see the sights she had taught about.

Traveling alone in a truck with camper in tow, she launched

out.

One afternoon rounding a curve on 1-5 near Sacramento in

rush-hour traffic, a water pump blew on her truck. She was

tired, exasperated, scared, and alone. In spite of the traffic

jam she caused, no one seemed interested in helping.

Leaning up against the trailer, she prayed, "Please God, send

me an angel ... preferably one with mechanical experience."

Within four minutes, a huge Harley drove up, ridden by an

enormous man sporting long, black hair, a beard, and tattooed

arms. With an incredible air of confidence, he jumped off and,

without even glancing at Dodie, went to work on the truck.

Within another few minutes, he flagged down a larger truck,

attached a tow chain to the frame of the disabled Chevy, and

whisked the whole 56-foot rig off the freeway onto a side

street, where he calmly continued to work on the water pump.

The intimidated schoolteacher was too dumbfounded to talk.

Especially when she read the paralyzing words on the back of

his leather jacket: "Hell's Angels-California." As he finished

the task, she finally got up the courage to say, "Thanks so

much," and carry on a brief conversation.

Noticing her surprise at the whole ordeal, he looked her

straight in the eye and mumbled, "Don't judge a book by its

cover. You may not know who you're talking to." With that, he

smiled, closed the hood of the truck, and straddled his

Harley. With a wave, he was gone as fast as he had appeared.

Text:11 Solomon finished the Temple of the LORD and his royal palace. He had success in doing everything he planned in the Temple of the LORD and his own palace. 12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself to be a Temple for sacrifices.

13 “I may stop the sky from sending rain. I may command the locusts to destroy the land. I may send sicknesses to my people. 14 Then if my people, who are called by my name, are sorry for what they have done, if they pray and obey me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land. 15 Now I will see them, and I will listen to the prayers prayed in this place.

1. Because they prayed

1. Hezekiah --Israel delivered;15 more years to live

HEZEKIAH Son and successor of Ahaz as king of Judah (716/15-687/86 B.C.) Hezekiah began his reign when he was twenty-five years old. At this time in history, the nation of Assyria had risen to power. Hezekiah's reign can best be understood against the background of Assyria's military activities during the years Hezekiah served as king of Judah. When Ahaz succeeded Jotham as king of Judah, he began pro-Assyrian policies by making Judah a vassal to Assyria. Ahaz's political involvements with Assyria brought idolatry and paganism into the Temple (2 Kings 16:7-20).

Hezekiah began his reign by bringing religous reform to Judah. Hezekiah was not willing to court the favor of the Assyrian kings. The Temple in Jerusalem was reopened. The idols were removed from the Temple. Temple vessels that had been desecrated during Ahaz's reign were sanctified for use in the Temple. The sacrifices were initiated with singing and the sounds of musical instruments. The tribes in the Northern Kingdom (Israel) had been subjected to Assyrian dominance. Hezekiah invited the Israelites to join in the celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem. Places of idol worship were destroyed. Hezekiah even destroyed the bronze serpent Moses had erected in the wilderness (Num. 21:4-9) so the people would not view the bronze serpent as an object of worship. Hezekiah organized the priests and Levites for the conducting of religious services. The tithe was reinstituted. Plans were made to observe the religious feasts called for in the Law.

In 711 B.C., just a few years after Hezekiah had become king, Sargon II of Assyria captured Ashdod. Hezekiah anticipated the time when he would have to confront Assyrian armies. Hezekiah fortified the city of Jerusalem and organized an army. Knowing that a source of water was crucial, Hezekiah constructed a tunnel through solid rock from the spring of Gihon to the Siloam pool. The city wall was extended to enclose this important source of water.

Isaiah warned Hezekiah not to become involved with Assyria (Isa. 20:1-6). The critical time for Hezekiah came in 705 B.C. when Sennacherib became king of Assyria. From Hezekiah, Sennacherib obtained a heavy tribute of silver and gold.

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