Prayer – 2 Chronicles 20:5-13
We live in an age, where we can have instant access to information and yet when it comes to prayer, we can have a wide knowledge and understanding of the subject, but in order to grow and develop our prayer life we have to, in the words of the Nike strap line ‘Just do it’! The Bible contains many excellent examples of prayers and in these verses, Jehoshaphat provides one of them.
Read verses 2 Chronicles 20:5-13
In his prayer, Jehoshaphat
- acknowledges the sovereignty and power of God
- remembers how God has assisted them in the past
- recognises the ways in which the people have turned to God
- states the current situation with the imminent invasion from the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir
- recognises that he does not know what to do
- looks to God for wisdom and direction.
In some ways Jehoshaphat’s prayer echoes Paul’s advice to the Philippians, ‘The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God (Philippians 4:5–6).
Reflect on your current circumstances or on those of someone close to you, and write your own prayer using the model Jehoshaphat uses in these verses.
The night before my husband went to the meeting (the story starts at the beginning of this series), where he was informed he was under a deportation order and his passport was taken from him, sleep was elusive! As I prayed, I was reminded about Moses holding up his stick and the Red Sea parting, so the Israelites could pass safely to the other side. I also prayed that God would prompt our friends to pray for us as we faced this challenge, since we did not have a telephone and communicating with those around us and in the U.K., was a challenge in itself, in those days before the internet was widely available! The next morning as I waited with my children for their school bus, a rickshaw drew up and a Finnish friend got out. When the bus had gone, she came up to our flat and explained why she had come. She felt we were facing trouble and wanted to pray for us and God had also given her a word for us – when the Israelites left Egypt, they saw the Egyptians coming after them, but Moses lifted up his stick and the Red Sea parted for them. It was a great encouragement and strengthened us for the challenges that lay ahead as we waited for the order to be overturned.