In the ancient world, having children was perhaps more important than today, since they viewed having children as the only way to gain “immortality.” Just as Abraham and Sarah did not conceive for a long time, so also their son Isaac and his wife Rebekah could not conceive. Their story, and their prayers, can help us learn how to petition and inquire of God.
The book of Ezra opens with a proclamation from the King of Persia, Cyrus. The first words of the book tell us that it was Cyrus’ first year as king, and that God caused Cyrus to issue this proclamation throughout the land. The proclamation says that any Jews who are still alive in his lands may now go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. More surprisingly, Cyrus prays that God will be with the Jews. What can we learn from this prayer of a pagan King?
Prayer plays a major role throughout Second Chronicles—there are 36 prayers in the 36 chapters. Those prayers can become our prayers, helping us to avoid mistakes and build our faithfulness.
Elijah offers a lament and an intercession for a widow’s dead child. What is the relationship between prayer and the causes of tragedy?