Pray & Remember
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray (James 5:13).
The first time I heard the statement, “There are no atheists in foxholes,” was from my sixth grade teacher, Mr. De Groot. He would capture our attention as he shared his warfare experiences and how even the biggest and most callous guys in their troop would weep and fall to their knees the night before extreme combat. Mr. De Groot was small in stature, but big in prayer and they’d come to his bunk to pray.
Seeking God’s help in times of war is nothing new. In 2 Chronicles 20 when Jehoshaphat received the report that a vast army of Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites were marching toward him to make war, he was alarmed, proclaimed a fast for all Judah, and sought God in prayer.
Are troubles marching your way? Learn from Jehoshaphat.
Pray. When Jehoshaphat heard that a vast army was heading his way, he didn’t organize his militia, meet with his military advisors, or strategize war tactics. This was his first response: Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah (v. 3). What’s your immediate response to troubling news?
Remember who God is. Jehoshaphat stood in front of the people of Judah and prayed, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand and no one can withstand you” (v. 6). What name of God corresponds with your deepest trouble and need? If you feel weak, remember that He’s your Strength (Psalm 59:17), if you feel distraught, remember that He’s your Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and if you feel betrayed, remember that He’s your Defender (Proverbs 23:11).
Remember what God did in the past. “O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend” (v. 7)? How has God been faithful to you in the past?
Remember what God said He would do in the future. “They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us’” (vs. 8-9). What did God promise to do for you in the future?
Remember God’s power. “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (v. 12). What’s bigger, your problem or God’s power? See 2 Corinthians 12:9!
Prayer Step: Are you in a worrisome valley with more trouble marching your way? Look to God, pray, and remember.
When you face a battle, spend much time in His Word and in prayer, for then He will give you that needed word of encouragement. -Warren W. Wiersbe