Written by Paul J Bucknell on August, 25, 2022
2 Chronicles 20:20-23 (5) The Required Faith for Prayer
We are always asked to prove our faith. (2 Chronicles 20:20-23)
Jehoshaphat’s response touches me. To lead others to step out in faith, is most difficult. This king was a powerful leader. His strength came from his faith. In verses 18-19 the king, along with the people, were awed by God’s Words and worshipped Him. They even began to sing praise to Him.
Strength comes when we praise God in the midst of our trials.
If your faith is weak, then start praising Him. You will find a surprising surge of strength. The king’s orders were clear. He led 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 Chr 20:20-23).
We find here a most incredible story. The king dialogued with the people; everyone was so moved that they decided to send the choir into battle first. I am sure God was so pleased with that. He loves these moments of bold faith. God often uses church crises to awaken all the people, not just the leaders. The leaders typically alone know and bear the burden. They need to pray alone, but some issues, such as this, involve everyone.
Praying with God’s People
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 our prayer meetings than in all the work that followed.
Our church was an answer to prayer. Before it ever started, we held a late-night prayer meeting from 10 pm to 2:00 a.m. God birthed this church (PCCO in Oakland, Pittsburgh) in prayer. In our prayer, God decided He would do something marvelous. This was not because we were strong or wise. We prayed and believed. Now the church carries on His work.
We are a praise army, and 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 hurdles; mountains that we can’t cross; unswimmable rivers. 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 (Heb 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. Everyone sang 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. These praises are your prayers. They speak to the Lord, retelling Him of His mighty power and love.
“Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)
2 Chronicles 20:1-30 Six Prayer Observations
Paul J. Bucknell