Summary: The people of Judah won a war by taking matters to the Lord in prayer, without engaging physically with the enemy they came out victors through prayer
Napoleon Bonaparte the French statesman and military leader went into exile on the Island of Elba after he had step down from his throne in April 1814. Louis XVIII then took over the crown. Nine months later Napoleon returned to his country with an intent to reclaim his former position. This quest was not going to be an easy one as the army was given orders to intercept him. However, when he met various soldiers who had been sent to capture him, Napoleon used his charisma to convince them to join his cause. Instead of using the gun he used his tongue to ‘sweet talk’ the soldiers to side with him.
On the 7th of March he was confronted by the 5th Infantry Regiment at Grenoble. Napoleon dismounted from his horse, stood before the regiment, shouted to the soldiers, "Here I am. Kill your Emperor, if you wish". He was within gunshot range but no soldier dared to shoot him, instead the soldiers responded with, "Vive L'Empereur!" (meaning Long live the emperor). These soldiers subsequently joined him as he went on to reclaim his throne
Napoleon won this battle without firing a single shot, all he did was ‘mere talk’ and he came out a victor. In a war, the one who wins is usually not the talkative side but the one who is active on the battlefield. Too much talk without corresponding action doesn’t make one a victor. However, we have a very unique case in the Bible, where some people won a war simply because they talked, by just talking and without anyone engaging the enemy physically they came out victors and the enemy forces all died because of that. It sounds unbelievable but it did happen, but the talk wasn’t just an ordinary chat, it was a conversation with The Lord in heaven, it was prayer. In this chapter we will consider how exactly this happened and we also draw lessons from it which we can apply in our lives today. (The chapter is based on 2 Chronicles 20:1-24)
The people of Moab and of Ammon together with others came to fight against Jehoshaphat the king of Judah. Sometimes troubles just come our way while we are in our comfort zones. Jehoshaphat was not the one who went on to incite war but the Moabites and Ammonites are the ones who came up against him. Whether you like it or not, even when you are just minding your own business in your own place, Satan will just come and want to attack you or use other people to do his dirty work without you provoking him.
Jehoshaphat received intelligence that there was a GREAT MULTITUDE of these people coming against him. Information about the enemy came first before the enemy attacked. Thank God who reveals things before they happen. A lot is revealed to us by God with regards to what will happen in the future before it actually occurs so that we are not caught by surprise, but most of the times we choose to ignore the signs or we are unable to discern them and we suffer the consequences. God is still speaking through His Word (The Bible) and many other ways, to warn us about what is coming but do we have time to listen to Him? After we have heard Him speak, what are we doing with what He has revealed to us?
Set yourself to seek the Lord
Having received this information Jehoshaphat became afraid. In his fear you would have expected him to flee from the city and seek refuge somewhere, he could have committed suicide as some do when faced with life challenges, he could have just sat there and wait for the enemy to come and kill him or do whatever they wanted to do, but he didn’t do all that. The king of Judah set himself to seek the LORD in PRAYER and FASTING. Scripture says ‘he set himself’, meaning it was a personal decision he made to seek the Lord, no one made that decision on his behalf. With regards to prayer and seeking the Lord, you need to come to a point where you make a conscious and personal decision on your own. Some are forced by others to pray but deep inside they don’t want to and such a prayer life will not bring the desired results because the person is not sincere. When you pray, do it not because someone has asked you to do it, but because you have made a personal choice to do so.
I can define prayer simply as communicating with God & fasting as abstinence from foods and other fleshly desires for a time so as to focus on communicating with God. Pardon my definition if it seems to be too simple, the idea is not for you to memorize meanings but it’s for you to understand the principles and apply them in your life.