Saturday, June 16, 2007

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do


A Pattern for Successful Prayer

“When we praise God, He inhabits or enters our praises, and His power overwhelms the power of the enemy. He is a mighty God, and Satan cannot match His strength. Light will dispel darkness through God’s entering into our praise. Through praise, the Lord Himself begins to do warfare on our behalf to silence our enemy, as we shall see.” Cindy Jacobs

Wouldn’t you like a more successful prayer life? If there is a pattern for successful prayer, would you not want to know what that is? I know I would! Actually the Bible does give us an example of a victorious answer to prayer that affected multitudes of people. In one sense what happened in this situation is a pattern for successful prayer that is repeated all throughout the Bible. We can find an amazing picture of prayer in II Chronicles 20:1-30.

King Jehoshaphat was desperate. A vast army was coming against him! He was alarmed but resolved to inquire of the Lord. He proclaimed a fast for all Judah, and all the people came together to seek the Lord. The King was desperate, a good place to be, and His eyes were on the Lord. Instead of trying to figure everything out first - what we often do - He looked straight to the lord and said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” Here is his pattern for successful prayer.

The Pattern for Victory

“Judah must go first. Praise must take its preeminence within our lives, churches, cities, states and nation. When Judah goes first, the scepter of authority is then in place for ultimate victory.” Chuck Pierce

Judah must go first. Judah actually means “Praise Yahweh”. This is truly the pattern for victory. Praise must go first! Let’s look at Jehoshaphat’s pattern for successful prayer.

  • Praise God - In II Chronicles 20:6-9 he prayed, "O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us'”

  • Describe the situation - In II Chronicles 20:10-11 he prayed, "But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.”

  • Ask God to intervene - In II Chronicles 10:12 he prayed, O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

Jehoshaphat spent a lot of time praising God. Instead of spending most of the time trying to figure everything out, he turned his eyes upon God first and praised God for who He is and what He has promised. This is the major part of his prayer. Then he described the situation (the problem) to God. Finally he asked God to intervene and help. So often we reverse our priorities in prayer. So often we cry, complain and advise God what He should do. So often we spend very little time praising God for what He can do. But look at this pattern - the majority of his prayer was praising God and the least amount of his prayer was asking God to intervene. If we were to consider the seriousness of this problem in our own lives, we would say it was pretty major. The army was vast and it was coming against him. It was an immediate emergency!

The Encouragement for Victory

But when Jehoshaphat used this pattern for successful prayer, a prophetic word came that encouraged the people to go into battle with the singers leading. This encouragement was directly from God. He certainly took immediate notice of this type of prayer and He strengthened their hearts with this word:

  • Do not be afraid or discouraged - “’Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army” (II Chronicles 20:15, 18).

  • The battle is God’s - “For the battle is not yours, but God's” (II Chronicles 20:15).

  • Take up your positions and stand firm - “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm” (II Chronicles 20:17).

  • See God’s deliverance - see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem” (II Chronicles 20:18).

  • The Lord will be with you - Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." (II Chronicles 20:18).

Jehoshaphat’s army was led by praise. They faced the enemy singing. As already mentioned, Judah means “praise Yahweh”. They had thanked God for the victory by faith even before seeing it. II Chronicles 20:19 says, “Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.” The Lord set up ambushes and they were defeated. But when the praising army arrived, the enemy was dead. God had given them a tremendous victory. They returned joyfully and with great plunder because the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. See II Chronicles 20:24-26.

Are you presently in spiritual warfare? You may feel that you are in a battle that seems enormous and you may see no way through. Think about it - whose battle is it really? Who is going to fight this battle for you? Why not try this pattern for successful prayer right in the midst of your situation? Start with “Lord, I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you.” Then spend most of your time praising God. Describe your situation to Him, but do not allow yourself to be afraid or discouraged. If you are, simply confess it to the Lord. Then ask Him to intervene for you. After you have prayed in this fashion, stand firm and take up your position (Do what He says) and watch the deliverance of the Lord. Remember, He is with you and this is His battle. He is aligning Himself with you to lead you forth in victory.

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski

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1 comment:

Sue said...

We have several prayer groups - first started a group on AOL 9/11/2001. We are using your emails as a teaching guide for others, new to God and to prayer.
Thanks for a job well done. His glory still shines through all the
distractions, when we pray.
Sue Sabas