E) The Required Faith for Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:20-23)    

We always are asked to prove our faith.

I am touched by Jehoshaphat’s response. If one is doing something on his own, that is one matter. But to lead others into faith, it is most difficult. This king was a powerful leader. We can see his strength came from his faith. In 20:18-19 the king with the people were awed by God’s Words and worshipped Him. They even began to sing praise. Strength comes when we praise God in the mist of our trials. If your faith is weak, then start praising Him. You will find strength like never before. The king’s orders were clear. He was leading the people to obey the great General.

And they rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God, and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.”

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” And when they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely, and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (2 Chronicles 20:20-23).

We find here a most awesome story. The king dialogued with the people and everyone was so moved that they decided to send the choir first into battle. I am sure God was so pleased with that. He so loves these moments of faith. God often uses crises in churches to awaken all the people, not just the leaders. Many issues the leaders alone know and bear. They need to pray alone. But some of them are of such nature that they involve everyone.

My brothers and sisters, some of the greatest moments in my life have been when I have been praying with God’s people. I can tell you that more work has been done in the prayer meetings than in all the work that follows. Oakland is an answer to prayer. Before we ever started Oakland, we had a late night prayer meeting from 10 pm to 2:00 am, as our sister shares in the recently published account of Oakland’s beginning. This church was birthed in prayer. Prayer was where God decided He would do something. This was not because we were strong or wise. We prayed and believed. Now we are carrying out His work.

We are to be as a praise army. God has set before us a great mission. It cannot be accomplished without His marvelous grace. Time after time, we will run into walls, barriers and reefs. Mountains that we can’t cross; rivers that cannot be swum. After we cry out to God, we will hear God and then we must follow and obey Him. Going up to meet the battle was not hard; it was only hard on our faith. But that is how our faith is trained. God highly values a Christian’s strong faith in God.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval (Hebrews 11:1-2).

When they praised the Lord, the enemies were brought into confusion and fought against each other. So the enemies destroyed each other. Judah didn’t need to fight. They had a privileged position to be in the choir.

Application: Accompany your faithful response to God with praise and adoration. Praise scares off the devils and creates a glorious throne room in which the Lord loves to be seated.  Remember these praises were also prayers. They were speaking to the Lord telling Him of His mighty power and love.

Next => F)   The Blessed Reward of Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:24-30)           God always blesses those who seek Him.

   Introduction to Prayer: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
A) The Urgent Need for Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:1-2)     Difficulties lead us back to God.
B) The Proper Time for Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:3-4)               Fears always should lead us to trust God.
C)  The Needed Substance of Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:5-13)          Prayer is where our trust is given to God.
D)  The Delightful Answer to Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:14-19)       Answers to prayer come when God speaks.
E)  The Required Faith for Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:20-23)           We always are asked to prove our faith.
F)   The Blessed Reward of Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:24-30)           God always blesses those who seek Him.
   Study Questions on 2 Chronicles 20:1-30

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell

NASB used throughout unless otherwise noted.