Prayer That Changes Our Perspective

” Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in Yahweh’s house, before the new court; and he said, “Yahweh, the God of our fathers, aren’t you God in heaven? Aren’t you ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in your hand, so that no one is able to withstand you… For we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do, but our eyes are on you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:5-12 WEB

It was a beautiful summer day as Brenda sat by on her back porch but it might as well have been a dark gloomy winter afternoon. One moment, life was great and the next she was under spiritual attack and the unexpected had happened. After having lost her job, Brenda came home to find her husband emptying the closet and packing his bags. Talk about a terrible day. She knew her marriage had been on the rocks for some time but this she did not expect. They had not discussed the possibility of separation much less divorce. She tried to convince her husband to stay and work things out but he would not listen. Nothing she said seemed to make an impact on him. As she watched him leave, fear and sadness caught hold of her. What if he never walked back through their front door? What if this was really happening? What if she could not convince him to reconsider this separation? Would he even show up to their regular counseling sessions anymore? Brenda became overwhelmed with sadness and mostly fear, fear over the uncertainty of the future.

This is exactly where we find King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. Afraid. After receiving the news that surrounding nations were coming to attack the people of Israel, Jehoshaphat became terrified. Three great armies, the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites were about to strike against his kingdom. What could he do against this great army? All Jehoshaphat could think to do was pray. So the King called all the children of Judah and Jerusalem to pray and fast. Together, as children of the Living God, they would seek God’s face and ask for guidance. Only God could direct Jehoshaphat and give him the strength he needed to face this vast number of soldiers coming against his people. Without God, Jehoshaphat knew there was no way out of this calamity. Yet, rather than keep his focus on the issue, the King chose to keep his eyes on God (verse 12).

As he began to pray, Jehoshaphat was reminded of the power of God and His sovereignty. As creator, God was in charge of everything. As a God who keeps his promises, the Lord had taken away all the people of the land, which He had promised, to Israel and to His friend Abraham. As deliverer, God had taken the people of Israel out of Egypt, out of bondage and destroyed their enemies. Now, once more, Jehoshaphat recognized how dependent they were on God. The people also remembered God’s past faithfulness and his promises which He fulfilled in spite of the many times they had rejected him and rebelled. With contrite hearts and broken spirit, Jehoshaphat and the people of Israel turned their eyes and heart to God, their only Defender and Protector. Through prayer and fasting, Jehoshaphat knew this was the only way to surrender their problem to the Lord and seek God for guidance and divine revelation. Admitting how powerless they were, the people of Israel kept seeking the Lord until they received an answer. They were not about to leave his presence empty handed. They needed to hear a word from the Lord Yahweh.

Perhaps you too are facing a situation or circumstances where you desperately need to hear the voice of God. Like Jehoshaphat, you must recognize that without God, you cannot make it through your unexpected situation. You need God! You need to pray, and depending on how critical your situation is you may want to fast as well.

There is much that we can learn from Jehoshaphat’s prayer. In our prayers, we must:

  1. Seek God and trust Him to answer our prayers
  2. Call upon all those around us who have a history with God to join in this battle through prayer and fasting
  3. Remember who God is
  4. Remind God of what He has done in the past
  5. Present your situation to God
  6. Do not doubt and don’t give up praying
  7. Stand still and wait on God to answer
  8. And when you receive an answer, whatever it may be, respond with worship and praise even when it makes no sense

God is always interested in our prayers. He loves for us to depend on Him, trust Him, and let Him take charge of our situations. Whatever you are dealing with right now, your part of the battle is to seek God, trust Him, and wait on His instructions. This fight, this battle, it’s not yours… it is the Lord’s. Let Him work it out on your behalf!

As God responded to Jehoshaphat through Jahaziel, He made it clear that He would fight the battle for Israel. All they needed to do was trust Him, stand still, and watch Him do His best work yet.

Are you standing still? Are you seeking and then following God’s instructions?

Are you letting God fight this battle for you? Or are you trying to manipulate and control the situation yourself?

Like Jehoshaphat, Brenda called her most trusted friends and they all came to the rescue. On their knees, they called upon the name of Jesus to redeem Brenda’s marriage, to deal with her lost job and restore all that was broken. Soon afterwards, Brenda was filled with peace. She did not have all the answers, did not know what God would do, yet she had peace and trusted that God was fighting her battles for her. And oh how He did! Today, Brenda can tell you how months went by, divorce papers were drafted and her husband came very close to signing them until one night God wrestled with Him. Brenda can tell you how she had to do odd jobs because she could not find work for over a year but between those odd jobs and faithful friends, each month her mortgage was paid and she had food on the table.

Not one moment in those 19 months did Brenda lose hope. Most of the time, her battle was starting to look like a lost but thank God who showed up at the most critical moment and gave her the victory. Nineteen months after having lost her job, Brenda was hired as a top manager in an I.T firm. The morning she was meant to meet her lawyer, her husband and his lawyer to finalize their divorce, her husband showed up at their home and asked for another chance. Today, Brenda’s life is not perfect just as it was not perfect back then but she never forgot the night her girlfriends came to pray with her. That night, all the prayers were centered on God, who He was and what He could do, not on how great the problems were. As a result, those prayers strengthened Brenda and completely changed her perspective on her situation. She knew the situation was still just as bad as before they prayed but she believed God was greater than her circumstances, able beyond measure, and true to His promises. And she experienced a peace in the middle of all the chaos around her she could not comprehend, a peace that surpasses all understanding indeed.

Friend, as you call out to God, remember like Jehoshaphat and like Brenda and her friends, how God is able. He is supreme, sovereign, and can win every battle that is placed in His hand. If you turn to Him in prayer and fasting, release your fear, and trust Him. God is with you and ready to fight your battles.

Prayer

Almighty God, great I AM, you know all about what I am facing right now. There are giants before me: giants of fear, uncertainty, pain and so much more. I don’t know you are going to fight this battle for me but I know that you can fight it and there is nothing too hard for you. You are the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow so as faithful as you were to me before, I trust you will be faithful to me again now. Lord, I am powerless without you. I need you, I need your help, strength and guidance right now. Speak to me Lord. Step in and take control of my situation in the name of Jesus because it is you that I trust and it is to you that I turn for help, my refuge, my shield and strength. Oh hear and answer my prayer Father because I ask it all in the name of Jesus.

Dig Deeper

Deuteronomy 3:22
Joshua 1:9
Psalms 130:5
Psalms 62:5
Hebrews 11:1

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