Counting Down to the New Year is a series of 12 posts in which I reflect on 2014 and prepare for 2015.
As 2015 approaches, I pray that it will be a year of both healing and strength. Like Hezekiah I pray for healing for all who are sick and in pain. And like Habakkuk, I pray for strength for all who are weak and suffering.
Hezekiah’s Prayer for Healing
“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.’”
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria.’” – Isaiah 38:1-6
Lord, for those who are sick and in pain, suffering and devoid of hope, I pray for healing. I pray for remission, protection, a cure, a miracle, for small improvements, small steps towards recovery and a fuller life. For all who struggle with chronic pain and chronic illness, may you be the one who both forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. May you bind up our emotional wounds, cover our physical scars, and be the healing hope we all need to move forward into a new and unknown year. May we remember that you can and do heal when we come to you in truth, just as you healed Hezekiah.
Habakkuk’s Prayer for Strength
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” – Habakkuk 3:17-19
Lord, may you be the one who gives us strength when our own strength fails. Though our sickness remains and our pain has come to stay, though we often feel isolated and alone, though depression and anxiety loom and help feels far off, may we rejoice and be joyful in you. For those of us who will not find physical healing in 2015, may you be enough, may you be our strength when all is not well. For those of us who can better fulfill your purpose in this land of sickness, may you grant us all we need to tread the heights.