A young minister once asked a veteran missionary what advice he might give to him as he assumed his first pastorate. The missionary replied, "Pray for problems that you can't solve. That way, when God solves them, you will walk by faith!" That's actually great advice for any Christian, for we are so tempted to serve God in our flesh and not by faith!
In 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat prayed a prayer – he said:
"O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, 'Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.' Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." 2 Ch. 20:6-12 (NASB)
Jehoshaphat faced an impossible situation. There was no hope but God. His prayer contains timeless principles for when we encounter hard challenges or crushing circumstances. This passage teaches us to do the following:
(1) Seek the Lord
(2) Stand firm
(3) Pray the promises of God
(4) Worship God joyfully in prayer during the battle.
Finally this story reminds us to give all the glory to God for the outcome. After God delivered His people "They assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD. . ." (2 Chronicles 20:26)
Praising God must not be something we do occasionally but something we offer every time we pray. Every day we must bless God! Public mercies call for public acknowledgements!
Let us learn to pray as Jehoshaphat did. The precious promises of God give us hope in the darkest nights. "This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me." (Psalm 119:50) Let us pray His Word:
"Lord I do not know what to do! Lord I have no power, might or wisdom, but God, my eye is on You! You have done great things before! Keep me in the cleft of the Rock! Be my shelter in the storm! Be my shade in the heat. I trust You!"