YOU SHALL DIE. Through the prophet Isaiah, God told Hezekiah that he would die as the inevitable physical consequences of his sickness. However, much prophecy is conditional; God does not act deceitfully, but can change His plans as a result of our response to His Word, “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed.”
God’s message to Hezekiah was an unequivocal statement about what would happen if Hezekiah’s affliction was unaltered. But because he responded in earnest prayer and in confidence in God’s ability to heal, God mercifully answered, “Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add to your life fifteen years.” Isaiah 38:5
What does this mean? All things that happen to us or are declared, are not necessarily irrevocable. (Read God’s message to Ninevah in Jonah 3:1-10.) When confronted with tragedy, we can rest assured that God hears, God cares and He is compassionate and sensitive to our needs. Our earnest prayers have an effect on God, His purposes and the outworking of His sovereign plan. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” We must always maintain the Scriptural conviction that prayer does change things.
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