Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 20
King Jehoshaphat wasn’t perfect, but he was a godly king. What we read about today was a moment of distress and an amazing prayer. An invading multitude was staged, ready to wage war. Jehoshaphat was afraid. Yet, he “set his face to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
In Jehoshaphat’s prayer we see several things:
Jehoshaphat called on the character of God—“Are you not the God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your right hand are power and might so that none is able to withstand you.”
Jehoshaphat remembered a history of faithfulness—“Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel… they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name.”
Jehoshaphat depended on God’s promises—“…give [the Land] forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?… If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.”
Jehoshaphat shared his concern— “And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir.”
Jehoshaphat relinquished power and fully trusted—“O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
God answered Jehoshaphat’s prayer through his Holy Spirit coming upon Jahaziel. Note, however, that the response was not without an obligation. The Lord said, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s…” To which, Jehoshaphat and all others likely shouted, “Yippee ki-yay!” However, the Lord continued, “Tomorrow go down against them.” At which point, a corporate “Gulp,” could be heard. Look at the reassurances and reiteration the Lord provided for Judah to comply, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
God answered the prayer, but the answer was “Go out and face the multitude.” Judah had a choice; protect themselves by staying behind the walls on their own, or trust the Lord by staring down an unconquerable enemy.
So much in this chapter screams faith. How many times do we pray lazy prayers? God please do ______, while I watch TV.” I love the old quote by the famous radio preacher, J. Vernon McGee, “When a farmer prays for a good crop, God expects him to say, ‘Amen’ with a hoe.” We make requests to God, but many times the fulfillment is an opportunity for character-shaping involvement. For example, in the book of Ruth, Boaz prays for the Lord’s provision and then provides grain. There are tons of examples in scripture, but this is one of my favorites.
We might expect Judah to be afraid as they marched out to face their enemy. However, they sang in worship. Their trust was so complete, their faith so strong, that it overflowed in song. When is the last time God answered your prayer and you overflowed with praise?
We are currently in a time when people are afraid. Now is a time to pray—calling on God’s character, remembering His history of faithfulness, depending on His promises, sharing concerns, and relinquishing ourselves to trust God completely, giving thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate
God is honored when we intentionally seek Him in prayer. As a church, we want dependent prayer to be something that marks us. Use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.