Bible Text: 2 Kings 19.8-20 (click on link to see NIRV text).
Key Point of Passage: Hezekiah prays to God for deliverance from the Assyrian army. Even though Assyria has beaten everybody else, Judah serves the one true God.
Memory Verse: “Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. He said, ‘Lord, you are the God of Israel. You sit on your throne between the cherubim. You alone are God over all of the kingdoms on earth. You have made heaven and earth.’ ” (2 Ki. 19.15).
Questions for Family Discussion:
1. Preparation/Background – it can be hard for young people to jump into a historical passage like this without some background info. A good study Bible, Bible dictionary, or encyclopedia can help give you (the parent) some idea of the setting. You may want to show them on a map/globe where this took place. In short, Assyria was the most powerful nation on the planet at the time. Sennacherib was the ruler of Assyria; he lived from 705 – 681 BC. He attacked the nation of Judah and conquered most of it – but Jerusalem still remained.
2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.
3. Re-read verse 11. Sennacherib says that Assyria has beaten up everybody else, and he asks Hezekiah why he thinks he will be any different. What do you think Hezekiah thought would happen to him? Would you be scared if a big, huge army like that was coming after your city? What would you do?
4. Re-read verse 14. So when Hezekiah heard the bad news, what did he do? What is a temple? Why do you think he went to the temple?
5. When Hezekiah heard that the scariest army in the world was coming after his city, he prayed (v. 15-19)! What would you have done?
6. Re-read verse 16. Hezekiah tells God that Sennacherib is making fun of him! Now look at v. 15 – is God somebody you should make fun of? Why or why not?
7. What does Hezekiah pray for in v. 19? Have you ever prayed for God to help you in a very bad or scary situation?
8. Read the end of v. 20 – What does Isaiah tell Hezekiah? Why do you think God listened to Hezekiah’s prayer?
Family Activity Idea:
Since this passage is about prayer, spend some time praying together as a family! Like Hezekiah, think of some things that you are scared of happening, or things that you are worried or sad about. Those are good things to pray for. Hezekiah also remembered how powerful God was (see v. 15). Also say some prayers like that, or prayers of thanksgiving for good things God has done.
Encourage your child to pray, too – even if it just a short prayer. Also try to make prayer a family habit this week – before dinner, before bedtime, or some other time when the family is all together.
Another great way to see God’s faithfulness over time is to keep a family prayer journal. Write down things that you pray for as a family, then check back to previous days’ prayers periodically, and check off the ones that God answered!