Prayer ~ Part 1

When I think about different prayers in the Bible, one that comes to mind is from King Jehoshaphat found in 2 Chronicles 20. King Jehoshaphat was one of the kings of Judah. In this story that we are going to cover, Judah was facing an unexpected battle. The Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat (v 1). As you can imagine, this “alarmed” Jehoshaphat (v 3). But he immediately took action.

1 – God should be our first response, not our last resort

One thing that I love about this story is that in verses 6-12, Jehoshaphat promptly turned to God in prayer. When we are facing a difficulty, what is our first reaction? I fear that often times we either try to handle it on our own, or we turn to other people for advice. But God should be our first response, not our last resort. This also tells me that Jehoshaphat was already accustomed to seeking God in prayer. He already had a strong relationship with God, or he would not have thought to turn to Him first and foremost. So we too should strengthen our relationship with the Lord and strengthen our prayer lives, every single day. Don’t wait. Prayer should be as natural to us as breathing.

2 – Encourage prayer

Another thing I like about Jehoshaphat’s response is that he prayed publicly. As the king of Judah and ultimately a person of influence, this was a vital step to take. The people of Judah would look to the king to see what his response was. If he was fearful, they would likely be fearful as well. But he responded with faith, which brought faith to the people. We too can influence those around us to seek God in prayer, when we display strong prayer lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean we have to always pray publicly. In Matthew 6:5-8, Jesus warns against praying in front of others for recognition. But it might be good for those in our household, especially our children, to see us pray. And we can also let others know how much we rely on God in our prayer lives, without having a boastful attitude.

3 – Rely on God’s strength

Jehoshaphat starts off his prayer in verse 6 by saying, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” In these sentences, Jehoshaphat recognizes God’s strength and power. This is so important for us to remember when we are facing a problem. We often have fear because we are looking at our issues from a human perspective. We think that we have to face our difficulties in our own strength. But things look completely different when we remember that we have Almighty God beside us, and that we are relying on HIS strength and power, not our own.

4 – Remember God’s promises and God’s victories

In verses 7-9, Jehoshaphat goes on to say, “Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’”

In these verses Jehoshaphat is remembering that God promised the land where they are living to Abraham’s descendants. In other words, Jehoshaphat is saying, “Surely those who wage war against us cannot win this battle. You promised us this land, God.” When we are facing a battle, we too should remember God’s promises. Familiarize yourself with promises found in the Bible and memorize them. Keep God’s Word tucked in your heart. It would also do us good to remember battles that God has won in the past, either in our own lives or in biblical times. When we are facing something scary, we can remember all the times when God has saved us or His people before. Both of these will help us to face our struggles with renewed confidence. Keeping a gratitude journal and/or prayer journal would also be beneficial in this area.

5 – Seek God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection

In verses 10-12, Jehoshaphat prays, “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

In these verses, Jehoshaphat is ultimately seeking God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection. This is something we should do every day, not just when facing a difficulty. Before our feet hit the floor, we should remember to hand our day over to God. We don’t know what we will face each day, but He does. And He can help us to take on whatever comes our way.

In the end, God defeated the armies that were coming to attack Jehoshaphat and Judah. In fact, they never even had to lift one weapon. This story is an amazing picture of God’s goodness and power. And this story is also a great reminder for us to seek God in prayer, not just when we are facing a battle, but every day of our lives. When we pray daily, we are growing closer to God and strengthening our walk. Then when we do face a difficulty, God will be our first response, not our last resort.

Photo by Rudolf Kirchner on Pexels.com

© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas

13 Comments on “Prayer ~ Part 1

  1. I love each and every point you made here Bridget. The point of turning to God in prayer should be an automatic first response, it is something I have been working on. I will tend to sit with it and worry and speak to my hubby or a friend to lighten my heart but God has been reminding me to talk to Him first.
    I also love the second point, that it is not about just making a show of publicly praying but letting it be known that it is God whom we rely on and that He is the source of our strength and comfort.
    Loved this.
    Blessings to you my dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you enjoyed this! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I know what you mean. It can be so easy to turn to other people (or even things as a means of distraction). I agree with what you said. We need to talk to Him first. I pray we can learn to do that, especially when something is weighing on our hearts.
      And regarding the second point – I think this can be tricky. Some people are shy about sharing their heart. And others might have the wrong motive. So it will take courage in one regard and humility in the other. With God’s help, we can find the right approach. But you said it so well – “letting it be known that it is God whom we rely on and that He is the source of our strength and comfort.”
      Blessings to you too, my friend! 🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully and powerfully written, Bridget. Thought provoking as well. Your words touched my heart and soul and I thank you for sharing each point. For what do we have that is more needed than prayer? Blessings to you my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you got some encouragement out of this! You are absolutely right – “For what do we have that is more needed than prayer?” Prayer is vital and should be like taking our next breath. I pray we can learn to see prayer as a gift. Blessings to you too! 💚

      Like

  3. Great points. I’m learning to go to God first, instead of last. I’m also pretty good at encouraging. I need to remember relying on God’s strength; I have a habit of relying on my own, and it isn’t near enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Judy. I agree, you are good at encouraging! Yes it can be difficult to remember to rely on God’s strength. There are so many reasons why we struggle with this. But you’re right, our own strength isn’t enough. However, once we can learn to rely on His strength, it really does take a world of weight off of our shoulders.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love all of your points! My favorite is #2. How amazing would it be if it were like that today? Everyone looked to the king to see his reaction and his response was his faith! We need a role model like that for America!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are absolutely right. We really do need a role model like that. Our country and our world are all in pitiful shape. I pray that all hearts will turn to the Lord! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a great study on prayer Bridget. I’m going to bookmark this one and take some notes. Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings, friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: