There are times in life when we will be afflicted to such a degree that we will have nowhere left to turn for help except to God. To those who do not understand the depth of this kind of pain and desperation, it will appear like we are ignoring reality when we finally choose to turn away from the remaining options offered to remedy our suffering and look only to the Lord for help.
King Hezekiah faced a deadly illness and became sick to the point of death. As his sickness took him to a point of no return where death was certain, Scripture tells us, “When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, ‘Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.’ Then he broke down and wept bitterly”(Isaiah 38: 2-3).
When life brings us to an impossible juncture of life or death, the prayers we offer to God in that place are some of the most tender and real of prayers we will ever utter. They are a sacred fragrance to God. All pretense and sense of personal confidence in human solutions and false hope no longer fill our prayers. They become rare and beautiful prayers offered by a suffering child calling out to a loving Father.
After Hezekiah’s passionate prayer, Isaiah writes “This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city”(vs. 4-6). Not only did the Lord heal Hezekiah He lifted the weight of his assignment as a leader to protect the city from invaders.
At some point when all options have been exhausted and the possibility of the death of a relationship, a dream, or our physical lives is in the final stage of jeopardy, our only remaining hope is to turn our faces to the wall of our impossibility and cry out to the Lord. The prayers offered at that point are beyond the normal exercise of our faith where we still have something left that we can do to bring about a resolution or healing. These prayers we offer in that kind of place are prayed because we have nowhere else to turn except to God. In that kind of place, miracles happen.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins