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Prayer that Moves God

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?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

16 Comments

  • Naomi

    Kim, please join me in praying that my husband will turn from sin, back to God and eventually back to me. Thank you!

    Naomi

  • Carla

    Please pray for my crumbling marriage and that God will restore it. He is the author of marriage and I love it because he does. Pray that my husband would seek God as I see my God pursue him as my God has pursued me!:). Thank you

  • Barb Lange

    Praying for you, Carla. Praying that God will give you peace in the midst of this dark time. Waiting on the Lord is hard, but Oh so worth it.

  • Naomi

    Kim,

    Thank you for this series of worship and prayer. Pleae pray for my marriage. Pray that my husband will turn away from sin, and back to God resulting in turning back to loving me, only.
    Thank you,

    Naomi

  • Robyn

    Please pray for my marriage. My husband wants a divorce but I think he doesn’t want to face his affair and not being in recovery from drinking. I see visions of us helping other couples in the further. I truly believe God has plans for us to stay together and help others. Thank you for your prayers

  • Carrie

    Praying for you right now, Robyn. I know that’s a dark place to be right now. Praying for addiction to be broken in his life as God reveals truth to him and to you. Praying that Jesus will be your safe place during these days and you’ll pour your heart out to Him. Take a look at Kim’s blog today on a Psalm 46 and read that out loud to yourself today and own it as your own… Nothing about a God has changed. He can be trusted. Please keep us updated!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Naomi ~

    I’m continuing to pray for you and your husband. I’m so thankful that in your pain, it is evident that you are looking to God, placing your trust in Him. Whether you ever see your husband respond to God’s call to repentance or not, God is still worthy of your adoration and affection. He will never leave you or forsake you!

    Blessings, friend ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dear Carla,

    I am so sorry for the devastation you’re currently experiencing, but let me encourage you . . . God can bring a beautiful transformation, He can set you and your husband free to know and love one another in a deeper way than you can imagine. I’m pasting a link below to a blog article that has some resources embedded in it that you might find helpful. Pray about sharing some of those resources with your husband (the radio interview with my husband and me and watching our marriage video together). If you read the blog post it gives more of an explanation:

    http://www.kimberlywagner.org/?p=458

    Barb’s comment below is so true, remind yourself often that God sees what you’re facing, He knows, and He cares!

    I’m pausing to pray for you now, Carla, asking God to do an Eph. 3:20 type work in your marriage:

    Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

    God’s blessings to you ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Robyn ~

    I am pausing to pray for you now, and I believe other blog readers are joining us in praying. I’m thankful for Carrie’s comment that she left for you (please check that out).

    God is able to set your husband free of his addiction. I hope you’re involved in a biblical church body that will come alongside both of you and help to navigate through this season.

    I’m pasting a link below to a blog article that has some resources embedded in it that you might find helpful. Pray about sharing some of those resources with your husband (the radio interview with my husband and me and watching our marriage video together). If you read the blog post it gives more of an explanation:

    http://www.kimberlywagner.org/?p=458

    You have a band of sisters here who are lifting up your marriage, dear friend!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you, dear Carrie, for ministering to Robyn here and praying for her! I love when the body of Christ bands together in prayer!! 🙂

  • Robyn

    Thank you so much for your prayers. I know they are working- even though he wants a divorce, I am putting my faith in God- who through all thing are possible.

  • Vicki

    I am joining Kim and the rest of you in praying fervently for our marriages, and especially those mentioned in these comments. We recognize the enemy’s work of stealing, killing, and destroying! May we all realize that there is a spiritual battle behind the physical one, and that Satan thoroughly enjoys keeping us blind to that fact. Lord, open our eyes to see…

  • Robyn

    Thank you for your prayers. I truly feel the blessings and strength from them and God to help me. I am so grateful for this opportunity to connect with other women. I know my husband still wants a divorce and he still doesn’t have reasons why. I just continue to pray that God is with me and that He is going to use us to help others and that my husband will turn his life over to God. God bless.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    God bless you, dear Robyn ~

    So thankful to hear that! And I’m thankful for this community of praying friends that are holding you up in prayer. Grateful for a God who unites us across the miles in His Spirit!

    “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Phil. 2:1–2)