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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 201-250 (Incorruptible - Kept)

F.E. Marsh :: 225. Jehoshaphat's Prayer

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IN the previous chapter we read of Jehoshaphat charging Judah to take heed and obey the Lord (2Ch 20:6-7), and to walk before Him with a perfect heart (2Ch 20:9). At this time Judah seems to be in a fairly prosperous state, the surrounding nations are jealous of it, and join together to overthrow it. We find that the twentieth chapter opens with these words, “After this.” Often we find that after great blessing comes trial. It was so in the case of Abraham. God gave him the promised seed, and then called upon him to offer up his son Isaac. After Israel had been brought out of Egypt, then they are confronted by the Red Sea. It was after Christ had been baptized, and acknowledged from heaven with the Spirit’s anointing and the Father’s voice, that He was led away into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. “Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit.” It is the fruitful branch that has the pruning.

  1. Preparation. “Set himself to seek the Lord” (2Ch 20:3). If we would have power with God, we must have purity of heart. An uncondemning heart will surely bring abundant blessing. We do not expect the plant to grow while it is out of the ground, neither can we look for answers to our prayers unless we are in the conditions laid down in the Word.
  2. Proclamation. “Proclaimed a fast” (2Ch 20:3). It is interesting to note a few of the fasts mentioned in the Word, and the reasons for them.
    Direction (Ezra 8:21), Idolatry (Jer. 36:9), Confession (Dan. 9:3), Humiliation (Jonah 3:5), To ask help (2Ch 20:3).
  3. Consolidation. “Gathered themselves together” (2Ch 20:4). Union in prayer means union of power. Get plenty of sticks and the fire will burn brightly.
  4. Solicitation. “Ask help of the Lord” (2Ch 20:4). Jehoshaphat stands like a beggar knocking at the door, and will not go away until he is answered. The Lord encourages us to importunity in the parables of the importunate widow (Luke 18:1, &c.), and the importunate friend (Luke 11:5, &c.). In Luke 11:9 we have an acrostic on the word “Ask.”
    A “Ask, and it shall be given you.”
    S “Seek, and ye shall find.”
    K “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
  5. Supplication (2Ch 20:6-13). Characteristics of Jehoshaphat’s prayer.
    His prayer was reverent (2Ch 20:6). He recognised God’s power and pleasure, might, majesty, and holiness.
    In his prayer he reminds God of what He has done in the past (2Ch 20:7). Past mercies lead us to hope for present ones. He who has blessed, will bless; He who has fed, will feed; He who has led, will lead.
    He reminds God of the relationship He holds to him. “Our God.” “God of our fathers” (2Ch 20:6-7). A woman may forget her child, and a father neglect his offspring, but not so the Lord. He will remember to help us.
    He pleads the promise of God (2Ch 20:9). See 2Ch 6:28-30. If we bring the cheque of God’s promise, signed with the name of Jesus, He will surely keep to His word.
    His prayer was pointed (2Ch 20:10). He did not ramble, but he knew what he wanted, and waited for what he asked.
    His prayer was humble (2Ch 20:12). “We have no might.” When we are weak, then are we strong, and when we are strong, then we are weak. Asa relied on himself and his physicians, and was distressed (2Ch 16:7, 12). Paul trusted in the Lord, and was strengthened (2 Cor. 12:9).
    His prayer was earnest (2Ch 20:12). “Neither know we what to do.” Sore distress means sure deliverance. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.
    His prayer was expectant. “Our eyes are upon Thee.” “Judah stood” (2Ch 20:12-13), Waiting in humble and believing expectation is sure to bring a hearty and bountiful blessing. Plead earnestly. Wait patiently. Trust fully. Shine brightly. Work expectantly. Behave wisely. Do manfully. Glorify God.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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