- How to Pray to Change Lives – Part One
- How to Pray to Change Lives – Part Two
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part One
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part Two
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part Three
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part Four
- How to Pray to Change Your Attitude – Part One
- How to Pray to Change Your Attitude – Part Two
(Editor’s Note: The following is the second part of the second message series preached by Brother Easton on Prayer. The first message was titled, How to Pray to Change Lives).
It is a fact that even believers have problems and challenges in their lives. Sometimes these seem to be perplexing and overwhelming.
Let me ask you: How do you, as a believer, go about solving those problems and facing those challenges in your life which sometimes seem impossible? This is what we will be dealing with.
In II Chronicles 20:1-30, I believe we can find some truths that will helps us to handle our problems. In fact, we will discover some truths that will help us to solve our problems through prayer. These will be truths you will want to remember because sooner or later there will be a time when you will need the super-natural power of God to help you solve a problem.
(II Chronicles 20:1-3) “It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. (2) Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. (3) And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
In verse 14, we find that as they stood in the assembly, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, and he prophesied what God wanted Jehoshaphat to hear.
Verse 17 gives us part of that prophesy: “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17)
In verse 20, they met the enemy, “…Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” (2 Chronicles 20:20)
And now read verses 29-30, “And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel. (30) So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.” (2 Chronicles 20:29-30)
Jehoshaphat was King of Judah, the Southern Kingdom, for about 25 years, and he was a good king. He was a righteous man who tried to bring about a revival of faith in God in the nation. He had an army of about a million men. On this particular occasion, he heard about the armies of the Moabites and the Ammonites coming together to do battle with Judah to drive them out of their land. When he heard this, his first inclination was to be afraid. But notice what he did when he was afraid:
“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” (2 Chronicles 20:3)
I am sure there are some reading this who are facing a crisis in their lives right now. I know without a shadow of a doubt that there are some who will face a challenge in the near future. When these challenges come our way, if we do not pray right, or act right, then our prayers and actions will be in vain. Maybe God let you read this to discover why and how a person can pray about their problems and never get a solution.
If you will study this passage of Scripture with me, and abide by what you learn, I believe you can discover how you can pray and receive a solution to your dilemma. It begins with a question: Am I willing to abide by God’s solution, whatever that solution may be?
So I want us to look at some truths for problem-solving that can be found in this passage of Scripture:
In Part One of this series, the first and second topics were presented as follows:
A. When You Pray to God About Your Problems, You Need to Understand That He Cares About Your Problems
B. You Need to Pray With The Understanding that God Than Any Problem You Might Have or Face
In this devotion, Part Two, the third topic is presented:
C. You Need To Pray With The Understanding That Praying To God About Your Problem Is Your First Response, Not Your Last.
I read a story awhile back about a lady who went to the doctor for a problem. The doctor told her that the only thing left to do was pray. With that the woman grabs her chest and cries out, “O My God, Has It Come Down To That?”
What is your first response to a problem? Is it doubt, fear, or unbelief? Or is your first response to pray? For many Christians, prayer is often the last response to their problem.
Let me say one other thing before moving on. Many Christians don’t pray much at all until they find themselves in a problem beyond their control. Notice in our text, “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (2 Chronicles 20:3).
I am sure there are some who read that passage and think, “That is exactly what I do. Pastor, as soon as a problem arises, I start praying.”
Notice what Jehoshaphat did. He sought the Lord in fasting and praying, which means that prayer and seeking the presence of God became a priority. Now listen closely to what I am about to say. Here is the reason you and I can bring our problems to God, and for some reason do not get an answer. Most of us pray to God on our way to doing something else. Yes, we begin the day in prayer; and that is good. It certainly beats not praying at all.
But you see, if God is going to solve our problems, He must be a priority of our lives as well. God needs our attention. He needs our concentration. He needs us to think the way He thinks.
The Bible says, “…Jehoshaphat … set himself to seek the LORD…” He did not call his commanding generals together and say, “OK men, we must devise a strategy to defeat the Moabite and the Ammonite armies.” The Bible says the first thing Jehoshaphat did was “seek the Lord.”
When you receive news that challenges you, or you suddenly have to face a problem, what is your first response?
Do you dial a friend, or do you dial God?
Is your first response negative, or positive?
Is your first response to lose heart, or express confidence?
What is your first response?
The natural response of every Christian who is walking in the Spirit should be total confidence that God can handle any problem which comes your way. I know the natural response for any person, Christian or not, is to first think of meeting needs in our own strength. This is only natural. However, after feeling alone for a moment, the power of God should take over to give you great confidence in His Presence. “Is there anything too big for my God?” Nothing!
Don’t allow those fears to dominate you. The Bible tells us 83 times that we should “fear not” because of our relationship to God. Fear should be a fleeting emotion for the people of God – not one we live with.