Prayer Before Action

12 Jan 2016
Bill Lofthouse
2 Comment

2 Chronicles 15:15 reads: 'This is what the Lord says 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.' Separation. 400 years. North, South; Israel, Judah; 19, 20, 0, 8. Translated, the Jewish nation was divided for 400 years, Israel to the North and Judah to the South. During this time, Israel had 19 kings and Judah had 20. Of these kings, Israel had no (zero) good ones who followed the ways of the Lord and Judah had 8.

Jehoshaphat was one of the "good" kings of Judah and the combined armies of three nations were marching against him. So what did he do? Call a meeting of his generals and make and urgent call to arms? No, he PRAYED, and did not do it alone but called on the whole nation to fast and pray with him. His prayer, recorded in verses 6 -12 was made in front of 'All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones' (v 13) and was in three parts. First, was the 'are You not ....' worshipping God for Who He is. Second, 'did You not ....' recalling all the blessings and deliverances of the past, and only then did he admit that he was powerless against the army that was advancing on him, and called upon God to help; 'We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you'. It was then that one of the assembled men, under the Spirit of the Lord, assured Jehoshaphat that they didn't have to fight the battle, God would do it for them. The rest of the story, how Jehoshaphat marched out with his worship leaders singing praises to the Lord, in front of his army, and how the enemy turned upon themselves, is recorded in verses 20 -30.

The moral of the story is: when faced with a crisis or seemingly insurmountable problem, instead of keeping it to yourself, trying to fix it yourself and only turning to God as a last resort when all else has failed, follow the example of Jehoshaphat. Share it with the community and pray, admitting to God that you don't know what to do, but you are looking up to Him in worship, who has done great things in the past to help you out with a miracle.

There is however a warning in the story. Just as Jehoshaphat was getting things together, destroying idols and shrines to Baal etc, so satan contrived to get three nations to band together to attack the kingdom of Judah. So it is with us, as we draw closer to God, and we seem to be enjoying all sorts of blessings, satan gets all steamed up and whaps us in the hope of convincing us that God has withdrawn and forsaken us. It is at times like these that we really need to concentrate on God and not on the circumstances.

This thought was written by Bill Lofthouse. He doesn't let being 91 years old stop him from serving; he keeps our Garden of Remembrance in order and will be posting more thoughts like these in the future.


Thank you Bill for your amazing energy and sharing your many years of wisdom with us - it is all the more valuable coming from you xoxo

Interesting that the account of this battle's victory starts and ends with acknowledging and worshipping God not timidly but boldly in unity with their community - God first wins battles!

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