August 2 – Dumb Prayers

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. (2 Chronicles 33:1)

Read: 2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13, Romans 15:23-16:9, Psalm 25:16-22, Proverbs 20:16-18 

Relate: If you were to rank the kings of Israel and Judah, there is no question who should hold the top spot. David is the GOAT. He is the Michael Jordan of Hebrew Kings, the standard by which all the others are compared. After David, it depends on what your criteria are for how the rest would be placed. If you are looking for the best political leaders then his son |Solomon would take the number two slot but Hezekiah from todays Bible reading would certainly be among the top five. Hezekiah faced during his reign the greatest Judah experienced from founding right up until exile and he brought them through with flying colors. If instead of politics, you were to rank the kings by godliness then Hezekiah would be neck and neck for that number two slot. I would put him there, but a good case can be made to have Josiah number two and Hezekiah number three. No matter how we look at it, Hezekiah is definitely one of the greatest kings in Judah’s history.

And now he is supposed to die. Isaiah comes to him and tells him, “Put your house in order. You are going to die.” Hezekiah responds to this probably the same way you or I would. With fists clenched and voiced raised to the heavens, he cries out in all of his selfish, childish humanity, “I DON’T WANNA DIE!” God answers this dumb prayer and Hezekiah is granted another fifteen years of life. It is because of that answered prayer that I personally view 2 Chronicles 33:1 as one of the saddest verses in the Bible.

If we were to rank the Hebrew kings, there is no question who the greatest is: David. There would also be no hesitation in answering who would find their way to the bottom of that list. Manasseh was without question or hesitation the evilest king Judah ever had. And how old was he when Hezekiah passed on? Twelve. How many extra years of life was Hezekiah granted? Fifteen. If God had not answered Hezekiah’s dumb prayer, this evil ruler would never have been born.

React: Be careful what you pray for… God just might answer it.

Respond: 

Dear God,
No matter what I’m asking for, give me more of You. If I am asking for riches, give me an abundance of grace. If I’m asking for security, shelter me under Your wing. If I’m asking for companionship, be near me. God, most of my prayers are dumb. I don’t mean them to be, I just don’t have Your greater knowledge. Please don’t answer my prayers unless it is in a way that will draw me, and others, closer to You.
Amen

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13 thoughts on “August 2 – Dumb Prayers

  1. the struggles I have been having in my life is that God doens’t answer to good prayers.. with good intentions.. and mostly unselfish… so sometimes I feel may be I should pray a dumb prayer..(and be selfish)

  2. I think we would be mistaken to wish that God had not extended the life of Hezekiah, as he asked. This goes back to the theme of unwanted intrusive life that Jesus brings into the world. We are heirs of this intrusive unwanted and unwarranted breaking of the rules of death into life. We too don’t deserve mercy. We too, don’t want to die. Manasseh is an example of God’s mercy and grace. Certainly he did evil. Enough to fill rivers of blood. But he also repented(2 Chron 33:12-19), and God shows his glory despite these things, or perhaps in the face of them. I implore you to not be cowards in your prayers. God himself hears them: he has the power and the will to put grande things into action. Certainly we go before the throne of God trembling, because he is not some plebeian you call your friend, but the king himself. (Matt 27:52) There is nothing casual about the way we ought to view our prayers to the Living God.
    Thank you for your daily devotions.

    • Calling Manasseh an example of mercy and grace is quite a stretch. Even two generations after him, God is telling the people of Judah that they are about to go into exile because of the sins he committed. Because Josiah feared God, that punishment was extended one generation but even a nationwide repentance was not enough to lift it entirely.

      A long life is not the same thing as a good life. Besides the birth of Manasseh, the only major thing of note in Hezekiah’s extended time was the hosting of the Babylonian emissaries. Again, not a good thing and because of how he mishandled it (showing the glory of Israel rather than the glory of God) bad came from it.

  3. Ha! Careful? Simple. Don’t ask! Just be thankful for your deepest longings coming to reality. Thankful for the new mercies each day. My Father knows what I need. Better yet, He knows what I don’t need.

    O but the DUMB prayers of my past. “Father, make me into what You want me to be.” His answer after He had enough of my dumb request? He answered me with His question: “What is it that you want me to make you into? I already made you a human being. Go and be a genuine human being. Quit trying to be ‘good’, it can’t be done. Just be human.” Duh!

    O well! Better quit. I could fill pages with all my dumb prayers, and? The dumb requests from others, “Please pray for me.” Now? I don’t even bother to answer.

    I enjoyed this article. Unique. Very informative. Thanks for sharing. Much love, thia. 🙂

    • I am not too sure that simply not asking anything is the answer. In fact, I am quite certain that it isn’t since there are multiple places in scripture where we are specifically command to ask God for things in prayer. Not praying for anything could very possibly be worse even than praying for the wrong things.

      • You are absolutely right! lol Thanks for the correction. I must be careful with my choice of expression–readers cannot read my mind.

        Reason I say ‘Don’t ask!’? I meant to say don’t ask dumb questions, but! Most certainly? I ask for His leading every step of the way. I say, “Father? I don’t know what to ask for, but! You do. HELP! My Father! HELP!” Goes my shrilling cry. Quickly He responds with the right solution to my so ever difficult predicament that come my way. (Like a giant roach visiting me while brushing my teeth. Talking about praying? Ha! I wrote it in a previous post. lol)

        That’s what I meant by being thankful. That’s how I see His mercies at every turn of the way.

        Guess the secret is to abide in Him as if He is right here with me watching me get out of this predicament with my dumb expressions. lol.

        O my Brother! It’s such joy to hear from you. I miss you.

        Since last year 2017? He changed me radically again! This time? For Good! He is not letting me revert to my old way of doing anything, including praying.

        Much love, your sister, thia. 🙂

  4. I have prayed a lot of dumb and selfish prayers, but I’m finally learning to pray for wisdom and for His will in whatever I pray. He answered some of my dumb prayers, and a lot more of the other two. I am content.

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