“And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.’ And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.’ And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.” (Chronicles 20:20-23 ESV)
Wow, what a battle plan! Just send your praise team out front and let them praise the Lord while the Lord God Almighty does the work. Some people teach that this is all any Christian has to do to win in his battles. It is true what the psalmist wrote:
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3 ESV)
Where God is, no evil can be. So when you praise the Lord, God is right there enthroned on those praises.
Something more important happened in the life of Jehoshophat and his people than the praises. They found out the three groups were coming after them and they were afraid. Jehoshophat called for a time of praying and fasting. All the people then came together to pray. After a time of prayer Jahaziel was given a message from the Lord to them. The Lord was going to fight this battle for them. They just had to stand and see the hand of the Lord working for them and not be afraid. If the people had not humbled themselves before Holy God they would not have gotten this message. We don’t know what the outcome of the battle might have been if they hadn’t come before the Lord seeking Him.
This reminds me of some of the Psalms. The psalmist starts out crying out to the Lord because of his distress and ends up praising the Lord. He knows the Lord has heard him and will answer his prayer.
The people prayed until they got an answer to their prayer. Jesus told us to do the same thing with his parable of the woman going to the unjust judge.
She kept going before him until he finally heard her case. We must pray until we are at peace. The Lord may answer the prayer the way we want or he may not. Then we must praise him no matter what the outcome and not just when we get the answer we want as in the following account:
A few days before the annual District Synod of the Methodist Church in the Barbados and Trinidad District, British West Indies, was due to meet, a particularly well-attended Prayer Meeting was held in the local Methodist Church. It was my privilege to preside over this meeting. Fervent prayers were offered for the work of the Synod and especially for its important task in the stationing of ministers. One good woman who had a reputation for her power in prayer addressed to the Lord a few general observations on the duties and responsibilities of the Synod, and continued: “Lord, thou knowest that thy servant, our Minister who now stands before us, is to attend the Synod. Perhaps the Synod will want to station him in some other circuit. If it be thy will, Lord, to leave him right here amongst us we shall say “AMEN.” But if it be thy will to send him somewhere else we shall say, “HALLELUJAH.”
So end your prayers with a big “Hallelujah! Amen!” trusting in the Almighty God to do what He deems best.
by Dean W. Masters
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