The prayer of King Jehoshaphat as recorded for us in 2 Chronicles 20 is a smorgasbord of lessons, or principles for us about prayer, especially when facing adversity. The first principle shows us how we must humbly go to prayer first. Seek Him before we do anything else. The second principle highlighted the fact that we must pray God-centered prayers. 18 times, the king uses the terms “You” or “Yours,” referring to God instead of his problem. The third principle he models for us is how Scripture must be part of our prayers. We don’t pray Scripture to remind God of His promises to us, but we need reminded of His promises and using the Word in our prayers encourages our faith. Now, there is another principle found in this same passage.
Principle Number Four – We Must Surrender And Throw Ourselves On God’s Mercy – vs 12
As Jehoshaphat approaches the end of his prayer he make this honest assessment of his situation. He says, “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
As the king, he is supposed to have all the answers, to lead his army into battle, to figure out how to overcome this threat. But he knows this situation is beyond his ability. So he throws himself, and therefore the rest of the nation, into the hands of God. He has no idea of what to do, but he also knows they must trust God.
It’s surrender. Surrender isn’t a term we like. It has a negative meaning to us. Victors in a war mark the anniversary of their opponents surrender. We don’t want to be on the side of an army or nation that surrendered. But surrender is actually the path to victory in God’s plan.
Years earlier, King David prays, “I will extol You my God, O King; and I will bless Your Name forever and ever” -Psalm 145:1. It’s tempting to casually read over this verse without seeing the big lesson found in it. The word “extol” used in this verse often is translated lift up or raise. But it’s not lifting from a higher position, it’s raising something up from a lower position. Here, David as the king, the most powerful man in ancient Israel, was stating God was his King, acknowledging that God was to take a higher position. Or in other words, he was surrendering himself to God. David as king, was claiming God is his King and he as surrendering to Him.
How often do you really surrender to God in prayer? It is so easy to come to Him with a list of things we want Him to do and we might even tell Him how He is supposed to do it! That’s not surrendering to His will, but it’s asking – or in some situations – demanding He perform what we want. Surrender is yielding to Him. Taking our plans off a platter we hand Him and putting Him first. It’s His will, His plan, His directive we are to follow. Its surrender and once we give up our position and submit to His, then we are primed to participate in the victory He has for us.
Surrender is not what you want to do if you are an army but it is the pathway to victory in prayer. Yield Yourself to Him , throw yourself on God’s mercy and see what He does in your life.
Blessings My Friend!