“Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.” (2 Chronicles 20:3)
Sometimes the mess we’re facing is so daunting and so confusing that we really don’t know what to do next. What does this lab result mean for my future? How will I ever get back to work with this economy? All three kids are throwing up—what do I do with that? There are times when we face too many problems at the same time and every path we consider seems to lead to despair and defeat.
In 2 Chronicles, chapter 20, King Jehoshaphat found himself in just such a situation.
Even though Jehoshaphat was serving God, disaster threatened in the form of two powerful enemy armies on their way to attack and destroy the nation of Judah.
Jehospaphat was terrified.
But he didn’t run. He didn’t hide. He didn’t order his warriors to ready their weapons and oil up the chariots.
His first action was to pray. His second action was to call the nation to a fast.
Prayer and fasting are the best possible actions to take when we are facing an attack, a battle, or a decision and we don’t know what to do. Fasting and prayer bring direction and guidance. We stand in the gap for our children and grandchildren through prayer and fasting.
And we impact our communities and nation through prayer and fasting. I love that in this time of extreme challenges in our country, churches throughout the nation are calling their people to pray, fast, and seek God, just like Jehoshaphat.
Oh, yes, what happened to Jehoshaphat? Did the enemy destroy Judah?
Judah was most definitely NOT destroyed by the enemy armies. On the contrary, they didn’t even fight. They actually sang their way to victory! As the singers began to praise, the enemy starting fighting among themselves until not one of them was left to attack Judah. True story.
It’s really cool that the Bible tells us the words to the song they sang, a song of faith birthed through prayer and fasting: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his faithful love endures forever!”
When we’re facing a battle, what should our battlefield strategy be? How about this: First, pray. Second, fast. And, finally, sing praise to the Lord for his faithful love endures forever!
Lord, thank you for being a God who battles for me. Though I see so many problems, both in my life and in my nation, I know you are in control. Honor my prayer and fasting as I seek your power and wisdom for the needs of my country, my community, and my family. I praise you, Lord, now and forever. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30