The enemy is massive and moving closer. Jehoshaphat’s men come to warn him of the impending slaughter. I love his first response. Admittedly, he was afraid—but he didn’t set off to consult with his closest advisors or check on the condition of the army’s weaponry. Nope, he “set his face to seek the Lord . . .” and he called for all of Judah to join him in a fast, seeking God’s help.
One of my favorite chapters in Scripture is 2 Chronicles 20 because it is packed full of opportunities to just pause and worship as you watch the story unfold. I was alone on a retreat in a cabin, when God first used this chapter in a powerful way to teach me a few lessons on trust. My marriage was crumbling and I was facing some big-time fears. That week, God taught me that He is able to handle the worst that the enemy can throw at me. He also gave me some prayer lessons.
Jehoshaphat provides an incredible example for our prayer life in this chapter.
I hope you’ll follow along in your Bible as we spend some time focusing on 2 Chronicles 20.
Notice how Jehoshaphat opens his prayer and addresses God:
[box]O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? (vv. 6–7)[/box]
Read through the rest of the prayer where Jehoshaphat is reminding (and praising) God for His right of ownership. He is reminding God of His covenant promises and letting God know they are depending on Him if, and when, disaster comes. They are putting all their trust in His character! Jehoshaphat’s last line sums it up:
[box]“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”[/box]
Everyone is standing and waiting. Every man, woman, and little one, all of Judah waits for God’s response to the King of Judah’s prayer.
The Spirit of God brings His message loud and clear:
[box]“Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (v.12)[/box]
When I first read this statement and let the reality of it soak in . . . I fell on my face. Literally. The tears would not stop coming as God made it clear, it is His battle, I am His child, He will not leave me defenseless; He is riding out to rescue me. He is the God who keeps His promises!
One thing stands out to me at this point in the story: God answered in response to being sought.
Jehoshaphat turned his face immediately to seek God. He prayed, he fasted, and he called the whole nation to join him. Jehoshaphat demonstrated to God that he was totally dependent on Him alone for the victory.
When it comes to growing in our prayer life, I think there are a few principles we find in this chapter:
- Seeking God should always be our first response to fearful news.
- Standing alone puts you in a vulnerable position. We do well to call on others to join in prayer (and sometimes fasting), seeking God’s wisdom and help.
- Reminding God of His promises and His character demonstrates that we expect Him to follow through on His Word; we trust Him.
Tomorrow, I want us to see a few more things from this chapter. Jehoshaphat’s example can teach us a lot as we seek to grow in our prayer life.
What are you facing right now that we can join you in praying for?
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