Prayer
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In the New Covenant, prayer is simple​.

© July 25, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

Hezekiah became sick; Isaiah the prophet visited him and announced to him his last rites. He turned his face toward heaven and prayed. 

2 Kings 20:3 (NLT)

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.

In his prayer, Hezekiah highlights his spiritual C.V – He had been faithful and had served single-mindedly, always doing what pleased God. Rightly so, Hezekiah lived under the Old Covenant. It was wise of him to remind God all that he had done. 

Hezekiah’s prayer was based on his performance. Under the Old Covenant, your performance or lack of it mattered. 

Did God answer his prayer? Yes. God promised to heal him, add fifteen years to his life, and vowed to defend Jerusalem from the king of Assyria.

What about we who are under the New Covenant? How should we pray?

Under the New Covenant, our prayers are based on what Jesus has done – His perfect performance on our behalf. We dare not invoke our performance because our performance falls short all the time. Eugene Peterson translation of Romans 3:23 MSG reads like this

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us…

We cannot claim like Hezekiah that we have been faithful and have served single-mindedly, always doing what pleased God. 

What Jesus accomplished for all of us is a central tenet to what Christianity is. He is our merit. God accepts us because of who Jesus is and what he did for us. 

What Jesus accomplished for all of us is a central tenet to what Christianity is. He is our merit. God accepts us because of who Jesus is and what he did for us. 

So then, a Hezekiah under the New Covenant will pray like this

Remember, O Lord, how JESUS has always been faithful to you and served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you. Jesus’ perfect performance has now been credited to me. 

This idea is counterintuitive and offensive to religious people and prayer hawks but gives hope to many of us who have sorry records as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us. Since I discovered this, my prayer life became simple and pressure free. I did not have to pull my hair off or grit my teeth while trying to develop a prayer life.

Hey, go ahead and pray. Look away from your performance and look to Jesus’ performance for you, and your prayers will be answered. Praying under the New Covenant is as simple as that. 

That’s what grace looks like

This entry was posted in: Prayer

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Schulter Etyang leads The Life Place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Schulter is one whom Jesus loves. He loves his wife, Jenny, and enjoys reading, travelling, cooking, running and playing squash. He also enjoys conversations with friends about Jesus and about life.

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