Oct 14, 2010

"Woe-to-me" prayer

I read an article on prayer and it asked, "Have you ever recorded yourself praying? If you did, would you answer that prayer? Was it weak, or negative, a woe-to-me kind of prayer? Guilty, I know I've had many of those kind of prayers! I think everyone needs to express their feelings, have an honest heart before God, yet a prayer life minus praise and gratitude is lacking.  It would be like a friend never having anything positive to say to us, downer. 
I like the way Jehoshaphat prayed to God, and with such confidence. Do I really trust God? Really, do I believe he can answer what I'm asking him?   
We either magnify the LORD or our difficulty. Ouch! 
In  2 Chronicles 20, we see how J (much easier to type) focused on the Lord's power and sovereignty (v. 6), His past faithfulness to Judah (v. 7-8), and His promise to hear and deliver them (v. 9). Only after strengthening his faith through these reminders of God's adequacy did he make his petitions (v. 10-12).

I love how, J ended his prayer with the words "nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You" (v. 12). There is great wisdom in waiting for the Lord's direction while keeping our focus on Him. Not only does this strengthen our faith, but it also enables us to see His answer. 
Looking at verse 5 of Chapter 20 -  Then J stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, 6 and he said, "O LORD, the 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.  "Now behold, I'm stopping mid-sentence, because I have never prayed to God and said, Now Behold!  What power and confidence that takes.  (verse continued now) Now behold the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), 11 see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 "O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.
 J knew, he was powerless and needed God, now that part I have down pat, because  I have too many situations in my life that I recognize,  I have no way to change. 
Later in the chapter J gets his prayer answered by GOD:  'You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not fear or be dismayed ; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you." 18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.   
I love the way God says don't worry, I will fight and take care of this battle, he does that for all our battles.
I was touched and very convicted by the story, I hope it has helped you in some way. :)