Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord.
In this chapter of Isaiah, the Assyrians were attacking Jerusalem and were beginning to overpower it. The situation looked hopeless for God’s people. King Sennacherib mocked Hezekiah by writing a letter to him filled with insults about God, which was intended to cause Hezekiah to fear and lose hope. Instead of responding in fear and hopelessness, Hezekiah went into the temple, spread out the letter in front of God, bowed his face to the ground, and prayed with all his heart.
As an adult, learning to pray when there is an emergency or fear-inspiring crisis, requires discipline. However, children instinctively know where to turn. When my daughter Abby was four she climbed to the top of a tree in our backyard. Her first response was to cry out, “Daddy help!” She was confident that the solution to her problem was daddy. She didn’t spend the afternoon trying to figure out how she was going to rescue herself.
Often, instead of praying, we respond with anxiety or worry. All we can think about is what we can do to solve the problem. We focus so much on the problem that we forget to call on our Father. We get so confused that we don’t even think about praying until we reach the point of despair. Like Hezekiah, our Father wants us to cry out, “Daddy, help!” as soon as we are caught in the “tree of trouble”.