Jehoshaphat’s Prayer—from 2 Chronicles 20:6-12: “We don’t know what to do…”

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2 Chronicles 20:6-12

“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us — sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine — we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ 10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir — whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them —  11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” NKJV

Jehoshaphat was a good king just as his father Asa was.  In fact, he took great pride in the ways of the Lord, as he removed the idols from the land of Judah (20:6) and sent teachers to teach the people the law of the Lord (vv. 7-9).  And all the people in the land that lived around Judah were afraid to make war against Jehoshaphat because of the dread of the Lord (v.10).  The Philistines even brought tribute so that Jehoshaphat became greater and greater.

But when Jehoshaphat and all of Judah made peace with Israel, they fell into sin and stopped trusting the Lord (Ch.18).  However, it wasn’t long before the Lord brought him back to Himself through the prophet Jehu, after being rescued from certain death in battle (18:31-19:3). Then Jehoshaphat went out among his people, brought them back to the Lord, and appointed judges over them (19:4-6).  And the people lived in peace and in the fear of the Lord once again.

Well, as it happened, the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites—a great multitude—came to make war against Jehoshaphat (20:1-2).

Now it seems to me that God allowed them to come against Judah in order to test Jehoshaphat and Judah to see if they would trust Him.  Well, they did trust Him, and God was eager to deliver them and to show His great strength to them.

So Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah, and people came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord.  Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly, in the house of the Lord, and offered this prayer (above).

In this praise-filled prayer Jehoshaphat builds his faith on God’s past faithfulness and humbly asks God for His present help and deliverance.  Thus he prayed, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

As a result of this prayer and by the humble obedience of the people, God, by Himself, delivered Judah.  For none of the warriors or any of the people went out to battle.  Instead Jehoshaphat directed certain singers (yes, singer) to sing and praise God. And verse 22 says, “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.”  What actually happened, as verse 23 describes, is that the Lord caused the armies to be confused so that they destroyed each other.  What a great victory that was for Judah that day.  And they didn’t have to lift a finger in battle.  They just had to trust in the Lord and give Him praise.

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About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
This entry was posted in Part 3, David to Jehoshaphat, Prayer A to Z Excerpts, Survey of Prayer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jehoshaphat’s Prayer—from 2 Chronicles 20:6-12: “We don’t know what to do…”

  1. Mai wayne says:

    Jehoshaphat,a man of great faith,we have to always stand firm and raise our faith and God will fight all our battles,causing confusion to our enemies

  2. capitalist39 says:

    Stephan,
    This is my first visit to your blog. I am greatly encouraged by your post about Jehoshaphat’s leadership lesson here. In fact, I find myself ruminating on this passage often, especially when dealing with health challenges (opportunities), paying off my mortgage, and completing my business expansion. Like Mai Wayne says, the Lord stands ready to fight our battles for us. I would like to humbly add, if we remain faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us.

    • Yes this is a great prayer. Always as we pray we are to humbly admit that we don’t know whaat to do but our eyes look up to Him. And even if we may slip and sin we can still repent and surrender to him and He will hear us and help us. My prayers are for you for all your challenges ahead. Thanks for stopping by and following me.

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