Select Page

What to Do When You Are Afraid

by | Oct 7, 2022 | Deliverance, Fear, Humility, Praise, Prayer, Worship

What circumstances are pinning you in? Surrounding you, suffocating you, with no hope in sight?

Whatever it is, Jehoshaphat would have been able to relate…

Without the internet and international news, kings in Jehoshaphat’s day didn’t always know when war was brewing. They might think they are living in peaceful times, and then, out of nowhere, they would find themselves surrounded on all sides.

And this is what happened to Jehoshaphat: “Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A vast army from Edomis marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea.They are already at Hazazon-tamar.’ (This was another name for En-gedi.)” (2 Chron. 20:2 NLT). As it turned out, this “vast army from Edom” was actually not one army, but a coalition of three different one: “Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat.” (2 Chron. 20:1 NLT)!

I believe the next verse is a record of an incredible understatement: “Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news…” (2 Chron. 20:3a NLT). Terrified is likely just the tip of the ice berg. Without having had much advance warning, Jehoshaphat found himself in a situation where he was not prepared. He hadn’t had time to get out the army and do war games. The enemy was literally at his doorstep without any advance warning. And his response is a perfect example of what we must do in similar situations: “Jehoshaphat … begged the Lord for guidance.” (2 Chron. 20:3b NLT).

Sounds like good advice to me! It’s what I would suggest to people in fearful situations as well! But Jehoshaphat went one step farther as well: “He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.” (2 Chron. 20:3c NLT). And the people responded. They gladly rallied with their king: “So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.” (2 Chron. 20:4 NLT).

And these aren’t the only things Jehoshaphat did. He followed the advice given by the Lord to Solomon. “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14 NLT). Judah was called by God’s name. They, along with their king, did humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face. And we know from history that Jehoshaphat did lead the people from their wicked ways. I think that Jehoshaphat’s prayer can be used as a model for prayer when we find ourselves in such situations, and I encourage you to read it in full. I will just outline a few highlights of his prayer that give us a framework to follow:

1. Corporate prayer: “Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord.” (Vs. 5 NLT). Whatever it is you find yourself in, don’t try to go it alone! There are prayer warriors standing by to walk with you through whatever it is! Share your struggles with your family, with your church family, with your friends! And if you would like for the Answers2Prayer international team of prayer warriors to join you as well, all you need to do is respond to this email with your needs!

But you may not see the need for corporate prayer. After all, why wouldn’t God respond just as readily to your private prayers?

Yes, He does. and there’s power in our individual prayers. But sometimes others, who perhaps aren’t quite as emotional about the situation, can be better used by God to speak Truth into your situation! and this is what happened in Jehoshaphat’s case: “As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel…” (Vs. 13-14a NLT) … More on this later…

2. Remember what God has done in the past and praise Him for it: Jehoshaphat opened his prayer with praise and worship, reminding God of His great love and mercies of the past: “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven…You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived?…Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name….” (vs. 5-9 NLT). There is power in testimony, in speaking forth what God has done for us in the past, in giving praise and honor and glory to His name. This lifts us outside of the fear, and puts a different perspective on our current circumstances.

3. Present the problem: “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing….”  (vs. 10 NLT). Of course, God already knows the problem, but in articulating it to Him, we are, in essence, declaring our faith that the problem isn’t too big for Him!

4. Humility: Next we see perhaps the most important part of the prayer. “O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” (Vs. 12 NLT). Here we see Jehoshaphat humbling himself enough to admit he needs help. And this is the place we must come to as well!

As we saw under the first point, God answered their prayers by sending a message through one of the people in the prayer group: “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s….But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you…” (vs. 15, 17 NLT)

This Jahaziel is not just speaking God’s truth into Jehoshaphat’s situation, but into yours as well! Once you’ve sought God, once you’ve remembered His goodness in the past, once you’ve humbled yourself, you are ready to hear Truth: This isn’t your battle! It’s God’s! When we humble ourselves and come to God in prayer, when we remember His blessings in the past, we, too, will not have to fight, for the battle is the Lord’s!

There is, perhaps, one more part to this story that warrants mention. When the army marched out to battle, they did so singing praises to the Lord: “the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: ‘Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!’” (Vs. 21 NLT).

The result? At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves….” (vs. 22 NLT)!

As I was writing this devotional, I received a text message from someone who suffers from severe anxiety. This person had just received what was considered to be terrifying news, and this person’s anxiety had spiked. I was impressed to ask this person to prayerfully read 1 Chron. 20. The person texted me back later saying they had put on praise and worship music. The following day this person texted me again. This person had just faced their greatest fear, and had come through victorious. In their words: “I was very much spiritually and mentally at peace… but my body was in fight or flight mode, but I felt level-headed enough to answer their questions.” And again, they said, “I felt very impressed to feel calm and peace after you shared with me yesterday.”

It all ended well for this person. And that is how it will end for you as well. If you follow Jehoshaphat’s example, if you humble yourself, if you call for corporate prayer, if you meditate on what God has done for you in the past, God WILL come through! For hasn’t He promised, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14 NLT)?

In His love,

Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries