Sunday, June 06, 2010

2010 – June 06 – When Prayers Get Desperate

Study from God’s Word 1st Kings 22: 29-36 [2nd Chron. 18: 28-34]; 2nd Chron. 19: 1-3; 1st Kings 22: 37-40, 52-53; 1st Kings 3: 4-5; 2nd Chron. 20: 1 – 37; 2nd Kings 1: 2-18; 2nd Kings 3: 1-3 … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Chronicles 20: 12 … NIV [Jehoshaphat praying when Judah was being invaded by the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites] For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but are eyes are upon You.

My Journal for Today: Dr. Smith is right with his contention in today’s devotional that we’ve all likely been in some situation of desperation, where the circumstances were overwhelming and there was no place to go within our own selves, and where things likely seemed hopeless. That’s where Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, was in the readings from 1st Kings and 2nd Chronicles where I was lead to read in the OT today.

And the highlighted verse comes from 2nd Chronicles 20: 12, which was Jehoshaphat’s desperate prayer to God in the Temple, before the people of Judah, acknowledging that the armies of Judah (and God) were woefully inadequate to fight against the pagan armies which were invading their land. And this man’s prayer, as Dr. Smith aptly points out, is a model of how we should pray, both in attitude and wording specific to our circumstances, when we acknowledge that only God can take care of the situation.

As Dr. Smith points out, any desperate situation and our prayer to God in such circumstances requires three components. First, is our acknowledgement of Whom we serve, … i.e., recognizing that God is God and we are not. Secondly, we need to come to God with a thankful heart for what God has done in our past. A thankful heart is evidence to all and to God that we are truly humble; and only in humility can God pour His empowering grace (certainly never when we have a prideful heart [see Proverbs 3: 34]). And finally, any prayer of desperation is sealed with the open, honest, and vulnerable plea to God for His intervention.

Later, after Jehoshaphat had prayed desperately to God such a prayer in almost hopeless circumstances, the Spirit of the Lord came to one of the prophets in Judah, who spoke for God saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

My friend, if you’re in a desperate situation which requires surrender and a plea for God to intervene in your circumstances, take the course Jehoshaphat took, and come to God with the attitude expressed in God’s word from passages like Isaiah 41: 10, Romans 8: 31, or 2nd Tim. 1: 7 (and I’m assuming that you know and believe what these verses truthfully express). We should never hold onto anxiety; should we? (You know what it says in Phil. 4: 6-7.) No, we need not be hopeless or even anxious; because, as with Jehoshaphat, we have someone to go to Whom we can always rely upon in desperate circumstances [see 1st Peter 5: 7]. And there are no circumstances He can’t handle [as we know from Luke 1: 37]. The question is not whether these passages and promises, which uplift us in times of desperation, are true; it’s whether we believe them and are willing to come to our God, acknowledging Him for Whom He is, thanking Him for where He has led us to that point in life, and to plea in our desperation, believing that we’re praying to a God where nothing is impossible.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, You know my heart; and I truly believe and pray to the same God in Whom Jehoshaphat believed and prayed. Amen

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