Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:3
When my son needed orthopedic surgery, I was grateful for the doctor who performed the operation. The doctor, who was nearing retirement, assured us he’d helped thousands of people with the same problem. Even so, before the procedure, he prayed and asked God to provide a good outcome. And I’m so grateful He did.
Jehoshaphat, an experienced national leader, prayed too during a crisis. Three nations had united against him, and they were coming to attack his people. Although he had more than two decades of experience, he decided to ask God what to do. He prayed, “[We] will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us” (2 Chronicles 20:9). He also asked for guidance, saying, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (v. 12).
Jehoshaphat’s humble approach to the challenge opened his heart to God’s involvement, which came in the form of encouragement and divine intervention (vv. 15–17, 22). No matter how much experience we have in certain areas, praying for help develops a holy reliance on God. It reminds us that He knows more than we do, and He’s ultimately in control. It puts us in a humble place—a place where He’s pleased to respond and support us, no matter what the outcome may be.
How has prayer helped you? What current challenge in your life might benefit from prayer?
Dear God, thank You for listening and responding to prayer. I worship You as the all-knowing, all-powerful God. Please help me in each challenge I face today.
Learn how to pray effectively.
When the people of ancient Israel thought about time, they reasoned that they couldn’t know the future, but they did know what had already happened and so reflected on God’s faithfulness in the past. That sense of time is key to understanding the way Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20. He looked back at everything God did from Abraham until the present day (vv. 5–9). He recognized that the future wasn’t sure, but by setting “his face to seek the Lord” (v. 3 esv), he was looking to God’s salvation in the past as confidence in His ability to save again (v. 12).