Yesterday was a great Sunday. I want to thank Rob for doing a great job for filling in for Bobby (our worship minister). Bobby was off taking care of some family commitments and was not able to be with us. It’s great to see our worship team stepping up and doing a great job in his absence. Thanks to all!
Yesterday we talked about worry while looking at the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. From his story we learned that when we worry we need to resolve to inquire of the Lord, understand the battle belongs to the Lord, that it is in worship we begin to understand this fact, and if the battle belongs to the Lord then he gets to define the victory.
The main thrust of the sermon was that when worrisome situations come upon pray and worship until you know the battle belongs to the Lord. What does that kind of prayer look like?
The answer to that question lies in Jehoshaphat’s prayer at the assembly of the people. This is the prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:6-12, ““Lord, the God of our ancestors, 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. 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.
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. 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 on you.” (NIV)
Here are some tips on how to pray through your worry and know the battle belongs to the Lord:
- Jehoshaphat’s recognized God’s position as higher than his own. Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah but in his prayer he recognizes that God ruled over all the nations. He recognized his power and strength. When we pray in our worrisome situation it does our soul good to know God is all powerful. But we must resolve ourselves to recognize this. It does not come natural to us. That’s why saying this part of the prayer is so important.
- He remembered God’s history with Israel. He recalled the covenant that was made with Abraham. We have a covenant with God as well through the blood of Jesus Christ. In our worrisome situation it is good to pray in remembrance that God have his one and only son for you. It is good to recall that you are his child. It is good to recall the hope you have through the cross of Christ. This helps settle your soul. I know of one person who was going through an unsettling time who took communion every day, remembering the covenant she had with God, until her soul was settled.
- He honestly told God the situation. He didn’t try to manipulate God. He didn’t bargain with God. He didn’t try to get God into his agenda. He just simply laid out the issue to God. He was honest with God. He told him what he wanted to happen but he didn’t have the expectation that God would follow his plans. Why? if the battle belongs to the Lord then he gets to define the victory. One of the greatest acts you can do with your prayer life is just being honest with God.
- “Our eyes are on you.” Jehoshaphat was saying with all of our being we want to place our eyes on this attacking army, on this problem, but we are not going to do that. We are going to keep our eyes on you. This is why Jehoshaphat prayed and worshiped throughout the crisis. These acts kept his eyes on the Lord.
This coming week we are going to talk about losing our guilt. Some of you also told me about some pounds you have already lost. Awesomeness! Keep up the good work.