The Power of Prayer
II Chronicles 20:1-22
Jehoshaphat sought God but he wasn’t perfect, he did something un-wise and aligned himself with Ahab, who was a wicked king and went to battle with him.
II Chron 19:1-2 some kings upon hearing a rebuke like this would have the prophet who delivered the message killed, but Jehoshaphat sought God, repented, and did many good things. He had made some mistakes, but he was serious about walking with God, which is the foundation of a good prayer life….
1. The time to develop a walk with God and a prayer life – is now.
Notice in II Chron 20:1 – Jehoshaphat was faithful to God… yet he still had problems in life…. And because of his relationship with God, God helped him. Dont wait until you have problems, develop your walk with God now.
2. Problems are a part of life and sometimes there is no way to avoid them.
At least if you are walking with God, you know He is with you during problems. The enemy will try to drive a wedge between you and God during times of trouble…. Yet the Word tells us that many are the afflictions of the righteous-but the Lord delivers them. Some problems are beyond your ability to solve – and that’s OK—if it weren’t for that we wouldn’t be able to see what God can do! A miracle starts with a problem. If you have a problem – it’s because God wants to work a miracle in your life. v.3 – go to God right away when you encounter a problem – Jesus said some things are only solved by prayer and fasting.
3. If you stay close to God… when trouble comes, you won’t have to go very far for help.
4. When praying, don’t just focus on the facts of the crisis, focus on the truth about God.
V5-6 O Lord are You not God in heaven – He’s putting his emotions about the situation in check and instead focusing on how great God is. There are times in the natural it looks so difficult but Jehoshaphat is reminding himself of the truth about God – that nothing is too hard for God. We need to follow this example when we encounter problems … put our emotions in check and pray aloud – that God is the creator of the heavens and that this problem is not too big for Him and ask Him for His help. V 7-8 Jehoshaphat reminds God of times in the past when He has helped his people v9-10 – God likes to hear us remind Him of what He’s said He’d do. V.11-12 God if You don’t help us we cannot know what to do – even though Jehoshaphat had a mighty army at his disposal, he was confessing his dependence on God and that His eyes were on God. Don’t just look at the facts- that can lead to discouragement – look instead to God.
5. Listen for God’s voice before you leave the place of prayer.
Lay your burdens out before Him and then wait before Him and listen instead of getting up and walking away. He may want to speak to you right then. And also remember that He can speak to you at other times, through other people or through dreams, or when you least expect it. V.13 – they waited on God.
6. When you pray and ask for His help, God will take on your problems as His own.
v.14-15 the battle (problem) is not yours- it’s Gods. He’ll take our problems if we’ll give it to Him. Then we must leave it with Him and let it go (don’t pick it right back up).
7. After you have prayed and God has spoken to your heart, believe Him.
V.20 – believe and you will be established and secure.
8. Praise God BEFORE He solves the problem, wtih the confidence that He is with you
–this has everything to do with releasing His power in your life. If He says He’ll take care of something – praise Him that He has taken care of it. He takes joy in our exercising the faith to believe Him V21-22 His steadfast love endures forever. Instead of strategizing their war moves with the army – they praised God and before they ever arrived to meet the enemy – they Lord killed the enemy… the place became called a Valley of Blessing for them. When you really enter into praising Him before the problem is over, He will take the battle for you. Your problem could be leading the way to a Valley of Blessing in your life as well.
(from a sermon of Pastor John Lindell)