“We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us;
nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chron. 20:12, NKJV)
What do we do when we face a crisis that overwhelms us and strikes fear in our hearts, something that exposes our weakness and inadequacies? We turn to God. We ask Him to intervene, to stand in the gap between us and the storm.
The people of ancient Israel faced such a crisis. A vast army was advancing against them. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, led them to seek the face of God. He prayed: “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chron. 20:12). But these are only reasons, admissions, groundwork. His petition sought the intervention of the Almighty, “O our God, will You not judge them?”
The following is a prayer guide that traces the narrative of 2 Chronicles 20:1-30. It directs our eyes to our God and it places ourselves in His hands. It also seeks the purpose of God in the trial. The pattern of each section is read, reflect, and request.
The Crisis at Hand
- Read verses 1-2
- What crisis are you facing? Sketch it out in words to God. Tell Him what you see.
- Ask God to help you to know that no matter how vast, how strong, how menacing the crisis is, He is greater.
Turning to God
- Read verses 3-4
- What turmoil is the crisis stirring within you? Whatever it is – fear, anger, despair – express it to God.
- Ask God, your refuge and strength, for grace to draw near to Him to find promised mercy and grace to help in time of need.
Make Eye Contact with God
- Read verses 5-7
- What titles or attributes or descriptions of God help you to draw near to Him in this moment? How have you seen His faithfulness in the past?
- Ask God to open the eyes of your heart, to review His mercies past, and draw you more deeply into His presence.
Right of Access
- Read verses 8-9
- What promises of God can you think of that take your hand and lead you into His presence? What guarantee do you have in Jesus that assures your access?
- Ask God to work in you appreciation for the access you have to Him in Christ and the expectation you have because of it.
Cast Your Cares
- Read verses 10-13
- What does the crisis look like? Is it unfair? Is it unjust? Is the threat from people? Is it from natural disaster? What does it threaten? Tell God your cares, for yourself and those you love. Acknowledge your inadequacies.
- Ask God to intervene. Cry out to Him in your need. Thank Him for Jesus who meets our greatest need.
Wait on the Lord
- Read verses 14-15
- What words of comfort and courage does God offer you in His Word? How can you rest on those words to actively wait on the Lord? What does it mean that the battle is the Lord’s?
- Ask God to give you ears to ear and grace to wait upon Him and trust Him, with thanksgiving and great expectation.
- Read verses 16-17
- What does the Lord call you to do to address the crisis you face? What has the Lord provided already that you can bring to bear? What counsel of others can you put into practice? How can you both be still and fight?
- Ask God to give you wisdom in steps you can take and strength to take them.
Prelude of Praise
- Read verses 18-21
- What prompts our praise of God even in the midst of crisis, even before it is behind us? How does believing God and believing His word fuel our worship?
- Ask God for a heart to delight in Him, to find joy in every circumstance, and to give thanks at all times.
- Read verses 22-23
- How does the fact that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or think affect our perspective and our prayer?
- Ask God to help you to know the perfection of His wisdom and how inscrutable are His ways.
Count Your Blessings
- Read verses 24-30
- What blessings has God brought to your life that would not have come had it not been for the crisis?
- Ask God to help you take stock of how He has worked in your heart, in your life, and in the lives of others. Bless the Lord for all His benefits.
For a further exploration and study see The Prayer of Jehoshaphat: Seeing Beyond Life’s Storms (Stanley D. Gale, P&R).
Scripture quotations marked NKJV are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Those marked ESV are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.