PRIORITY IN PRAYER
“O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
2 Chronicles 20:12 (ESV)
There are several major things that we could never effectively teach in a class or seminar – one of them is prayer. In an over-stimulated culture that may be considered “allergic” to solitude, our default answer to a call for prayer is we have no time. Perhaps some can bear to attend a worship concert, while never will they participate in a prayer meeting. That’s too dragging.
But why is prayer so close to God’s heart? Why is it important to get on our knees and pray? The “giants of the faith” prayed so passionately and desperately. Jesus Himself modeled it. Is prayer simply a habit required for the pious, or is it something more?
A man in the Old Testament named Jehoshaphat understood the necessity of prayer in one’s life. This king of Judah received news of the brewing war against the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites… so he came in haste not with a brilliant battle plan, but with a bold call for Judah to fast and pray. He sought the Lord with all his heart. In desperation, he admitted his helplessness. In a posture of brokenness, he uttered, “We do not know what to do”. Yet in confidence, he remembers the God who keeps covenant to His beloved people.
A large number of people do not pray because this is not man’s knee-jerk response to our everyday circumstance. We want to get things fixed on our own time and according to our own terms. Pride takes over. However, King Jehoshaphat shifted this common view by modeling that true strength rises from an admission of our powerlessness and from a bold declaration of God-dependent faith.
As we reflect on this, may our attitude towards prayer change into one with a sense of desperation and a genuine hunger for the presence of God in our lives. May we learn to pray so earnestly, knowing full well that God sympathizes with our weaknesses and is faithful to grant help in our time of need (cf. Hebrews 4:14-16).