We’ve all cried out for God, been mad at him, or prayed with anger. Whether it’s an illness someone close to us is tackling or we are in fear of something happening. All of these things can affect the way we pray to God.
King Jehoshaphat’s story is one that we can all learn from. Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah under a divided monarchy, the son of Asa. One day, messengers came to Jehoshaphat with the news that an army was gathered against the people of Judah. Instead of responding right away, Jehoshaphat immediately prayed.
Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord in front of the new courtyard; and he said, “Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. Did You not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land from Your people Israel, and give it to the descendants of Your friend Abraham forever? They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, – 2 Chronicles 20:1-8
First, Jehoshaphat reminded God of his strength and power. He noted God’s grace and blessings upon the chosen people.
‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, or judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house), and cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear and save us.’ Now behold, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, whom You did not allow Israel to invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (for they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. Our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their infants, their wives, and their children. – 2 Chronicles 20:9-13
Because of God’s favor in the past, Jehoshaphat went on to ask that he deliver them from the enemy. God answered the Jehoshaphat’s prayer for deliverance and rescued the people of Judah. The armies were destroyed after they turned on each other.
When in a difficult position it’s important to think of the way we pray to God. Do we accuse him of having abandoned us? Do we show up in anger? Jehoshaphat approached God by first praising him. During this fasting and praying season, think of how you are communicating with God.