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(Wednesday, 10-31-07) Prayer - 23 Jehoshaphat's Prayer in a Crisis

Read first:
2 Chronicles 20:1-23

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, instituted a number of reforms, appointing godly judges and encouraging people to return to Jehovah. He also took down places of idolatry and, in general, did much that was good and right.

He was also plagued with wars, and on this particular occasion, Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites joined forces to come against Jehoshaphat. The force was evidently a great one, and the king was seriously concerned about his ability to withstand such an enemy.

It was during this crisis that Jehoshaphat prayed to the Lord God for help. It is a prayer very similar to other similar crises.

What Can We Learn?
1. It is important to see Jehoshaphat as a good king, not perfect, but one whose heart was intent on serving God.
2. As with other crisis -generated prayers, fear was an important factor in motivating a turning to God for a solution.
3. Note the connection made here with fasting as an appropriate adjunct to prayer.
4. Note also that this is not just Jehoshaphat’s prayer. He gathered people from across the kingdom who gathered together to seek God’s help.
5. His prayer acknowledges God as one with power and might, a sovereign ruler against whom none could stand.
6. Note the statement of resolve and commitment that is contained in 20:9.
7. God resolved the dilemma by confusing the enemy troops so that they attacked and destroyed one another.
8. God answered the prayer.

Questions to Ponder
1. Do you think God more readily hears and responds to those who are already seeking to do His will?
2. What do you think about praying such desperate prayers when you are afraid or otherwise facing a crisis? Is that an appropriate time to pray?
3. Should Christians ever fast and pray like we read about in the Bible?
4. Notice Jehoshaphat’s spiritual leadership. He could have prayed by himself, but instead used his position to include many others. What impact do you think this had on the people? Did it make the prayer more powerful?
5. In what way(s) is 20:9 a statement of faith?
6. Can you think of some practical lessons that would encourage us to pray more often or in different ways than we might otherwise?

1 comment:

Twisting his arm said...

This was a great study! Me and they hubby are currently doing a television fast for a month as we pray to God to answer a specific prayer. I think God will do what is best for us but I also believe He hears prayer request 'louder' depending on the motive, praying duration, obedience & fasting. I’ll let ya’ll know how it turns out!