“But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.”
What is one of the most important things we can do for others? We can pray, we can intercede to God on others behalf, especially those who can’t or don’t know they can reach out to God. When people we know and love have great need, it can very often be beyond our power to help them in any temporal way. However there is one who is above the temporal, that is Jesus. He is eternal, He is all powerful, and He loves us with an everlasting love.
Sometimes people can lose sight of their destiny, of their purpose and can be overcome by cares and anxieties of daily life – sickness, disappointment, financial, depression, addictions, exhaustion, loss of a loved one. Not being able to help ourselves, the support by prayer and intercession not only helps those in need, it also brings us closer to the real heart of God.
Ezekiel 18:23 “have I any desire that the wicked should perish saith the Lord God, but rather they return from their ways and live.”
25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel, including the foreigners who had come from Israel and also those who resided in Judah. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.
Like a pebble tossed into still waters, ripples went out from one to touch many people with love and devotion to the Lord. King Hezekiah sent word out to all Israel and Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem and celebrate Passover, the feast remembering how God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt. At first there were few priests who were able to celebrate, according to the commands set forth by the Lord. There were people who scorned the proclamation the couriers read from Hezekiah. Others listened, humbled themselves to the Lord and went to Jerusalem. God was with the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials planned, following the word of the Lord.
The ripples continued to spread. More priests became consecrated to celebrate Passover as God directed. People were not ritually able to celebrate but they did anyway. Hezekiah made intercession for them and the Lord heard and healed the people. They rejoiced for seven days, then decided it wasn’t enough time and decided to celebrate seven more days. The joy radiated out to foreigners coming from Israel, along with those who lived in Judah. Their prayers made God smile.
You may remember the song, “Pass it On.” It only takes a spark to get a fire going… In the same way, what began with Hezekiah spread out until there was a great mass of people praising God and lifting their hearts in prayer. You and I may not have the same level of influence as a king, but any one of us has the capacity to be a positive influence and touch the life of another. May your faith be a banner that draws others to the Lord, like Hezekiah.
Work within my life today, Lord, that I may help another in a good way. May something of my faith shine through all that I do, to encourage another to seek you and rejoice in you. Help me be part of a ripple of faith to praise your name, in Jesus Christ my savior. Amen.