Summary: part 5 of 7 series on prayer. looking at how people in the bible connected with God in prayer. feel free to use any and all of this!
Learning to Pray
Pt. 5 Jehoshaphat’s Cry for Help
His name was Colin, and I punched him in the face… why because he was a loud mouth punk, but that is not important, what happened after is. His father made it his personal task to verbally assault me and make my life miserable. Basically a 30+ 300 lb. 6ft. 3 man was bullying a 13 year old kid. One day, while making my life miserable, he tried to make me responsible for the loss of his son Colin’s football… he harassed me, pushed me around, made fun of me in front of all my friends, until my mom heard him… that is when I saw my mother turn into momma bear. He tried to intimidate her with his size and his big voice, but she lifted all of her 5 feet and put her finger in his chest and scared that giant bully away. He would never again bother me and eventually took his son and moved away.
Moms remind us that we can’t always handle everything on our own, that there are time we all need help… a couple of weeks ago we talked about how Hannah had some trouble of her own and how she turned to God to help fix what was wrong… today we continue our series on how to pray by looking at a passage that some of you may not have heard before, about a king and a nation who were in a helpless situation… Turn in your bibles to 2 Chronicles chapter 20:
1After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar" (that is, Engedi).
If you know anything about the kings of Israel and Judah, you know that the majority of them were evil. They make up a long line of losers who failed to follow God and lead the people to worship false gods and idols. However there were a few of the Judean kings who did what was right in the sight if the Lord, Asa being one, and his son Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat learned from his father that the Lord is God and he is the one who is in control. So when he is presented with this problem, what does he do? He turns to God in prayer! Look at vs. 3:
3Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
Have you ever faced an impossible situation? What do you do? Gary and I with the car out of gas…
Too often we try to solve our problems by our own power, we push and struggle, and there are times when we can do it… but there are times in our lives we have to recognize that we are incapable and need help. This is what Jehoshaphat does, he realizes that he and his nation are in more trouble than they can handle, so he turns to God in prayer.
5And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6and said, "O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 7Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?8And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 9"If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, 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 affliction, and you will hear and save."
There are times when being a preacher isn’t always that fun, usually it’s a party, but other times it is not… especially when your wife and children hear the things you say in a sermon, and then turn around and throw it in your face… like love your neighbor, as I am yelling at someone who is going slow… help the poor, as I chastise Amy for giving all of our money to a panhandler in Lansing… be patient, as I get frustrated over some small thing… there is nothing worse than to be reminded about what you said, however it does open your eyes.
Jehoshaphat begins his prayer by reminding God of who he is through the question, “are you not God in heaven?” You rule over all the nations, in your hand is power and might, none can withstand you… He reminds God of who he is, he is the King! Jehoshaphat does this as a way of saying, I believe that you are God in heaven, and you are the only hope in which I place my trust. By reminding God of who he is, Jehoshaphat shows that he is trusting only in God’s help.