The following is an excerpt from “Do Not Grow Weary in Prayer and Fasting,” written faithfully each week for nearly 10 years by Jerry Hale, Spiritual Emphasis Committee Chair for the Growing and Building Campaign.
Every year I look forward to reading about the exploits of King Jehoshaphat of Judah as I read through the Old Testament. Again this week I read all about Jehoshaphat in the pages of II Chronicles. The scriptures devote 4 chapters to this amazing political/military leader who so successfully integrated faith and work during the 25 years of his kingship. The only negatives we know about are his alliances with the Kings of Israel, Ahab and his son Ahaziah. Jehoshaphat is probably best known for his leadership when Judah was invaded by the Moabites and Ammonites.
When word came of the impending invasion, he stood up in the assembly at the temple of the Lord and prayed:
II Chronicles 20:6-12
“O LORD, God of our fathers, 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.
7 O 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?
8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying,
9 ‘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.’
10 “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.
11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.
12 O 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 upon you.”
What a great prayer, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
How many times have we prayed such a prayer? How many more times should we have prayed such a prayer? Such a prayer admits our inadequacy and our total dependency upon God. God seems to specialize in answering such prayers. Certainly he did in the case of Jehoshaphat. Read II Chronicles 20:13-20 to find out what happened (Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah do not have to fight the battle…the Lord mightily intervenes on their behalf). An amazingly powerful story of faith and trust in the Lord!