King Jehoshaphat is facing a serious challenge from his enemies. The people of Moab, Ammon “and others” have all come against Judah. The account of how he handles this is found in 2 Chronicles 20. Within this chapter, I see no less than five Principles or Lessons of Prayer, as displayed by the king. In verse 3 he humbly sought God first and then from verses 6-12 we see how his prayer was very God–centered, as opposed to being problem-centered. Now we see the third lesson from King Jehoshaphat.
Principle Number Three – Pray Scripture, The Promises Of God – vs 6-12
When Jehoshaphat begins his prayer, he quickly goes to the fact that they are the descendants of Abraham. He prays through a long series of promises from Scripture. He says “Are You not our God…” and adds how God “drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel”. He mentions how God gave them this land and states how they are descendants of Abraham. Further, he says Abraham was the LORD’s “friend forever.”
Next, in verse 9, he mentions the sanctuary built in the name of the LORD. He again turns to lessons of Scripture, referring to Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8 when the temple was originally dedicated. He indicates how when the people faced adversity like “the sword, judgement, pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this temple…and cry out to you in our affliction and YOU WILL HEAR AND SAVE! (emphasis mine)- 2 Chronicles 20:9.
Jehoshaphat is praying Scripture.
It might be one of the most effective ways to pray. You don’t need to pray Scripture back to Him to remind His of His Word, but when you pray Scripture, you remind yourself of what He promised.
Praying Scripture reminds us of His promises, it bolsters our faith and makes us more confident to “come boldly to the throne of grace” – Hebrews 4:16.
It also encourages others. Remember when Jehoshaphat is praying, the people are gathered together, all of them are asking “help from the LORD” – 2 Chronicles 20:4. Here the king, has called them all together, proclaimed a fast and now, in front all these people, he is praying, reminding them of the promises of God.
It’s one thing to pray for God’s intervention in a situation or to ask for His protection, but when you pray His promises back to Him, you are giving power to your prayers. It’s like your prayer engine has been given a boost of high-octane fuel. It strengthens your faith and rather than meekly asking God and hoping He isn’t too busy to hear, you are confident. You know from Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the LORD’s encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them.” That’s just one of many verses I like to pray as it reminds me how God does surround me and He does, in fact, deliver me.
Many years ago I heard a radio preacher saying, “God is still on the throne and prayer changes things.” I believe those concepts, but I also think prayer changes me. Praying Scripture makes me more confident, strengthens my faith and encourages my soul. I think this is especially true when one prays out-loud.
King Jehoshaphat knew, he needed to pray Scripture. The people were looking to him for encouragement and he knew how to inspire them and himself. He humbly sought the LORD first, he was God-centered in his prayer and he reminded himself (and those with him) of everything God had promised to His people by praying Scripture. It’s a great pattern for us to follow in our prayers.
Blessings My Friend!