"King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud." (2 Chronicles 20:5b-6a NLT)
There is no problem that is too big or too small for you to pray about. Chronicles 20:5-6 says, “King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud.” That's a good thing to do!
It's important when the odds are stacked against you to pray a certain way that is different from the way you normally pray. Jehoshaphat gives us a model of the three things you need to pray when you feel overwhelmed.
Remind yourself who God is. "O Lord God of our ancestors, you rule in heaven over all the nations of the world. You are powerful and mighty, and no one can oppose you" (2 Chronicles 20:6). Before you talk to God about the problem and focus on it, remind yourself that God is bigger than the problem you are facing. King Jehoshaphat realizes that three enemy nations are coming at him, yet he stops and says, "You're bigger than all the nations, God. You are bigger than anything I will ever face."
Remind yourself of what he has done in the past. Think of the times when God has helped you and the miracles he's already done in your life. “When your people Israel moved into this land, you drove out the people who were living here and gave the land to the descendants of Israel, your friend, to be theirs forever” (2 Chronicles 20:6). Jehoshaphat recalled all the ways God had worked in Israel's past.
Ask God for help now. How about a repeat performance, Lord? Do it again! In verse 9, Jehoshaphat mentions three kinds of situations: war, epidemic, and famine. He says, “None of this is too hard for you. You've helped us in the past, so do it again!”
His prayer is built around three questions: Are you not? Did you not? Will you not?
“Are you not God?” Yes, you are in charge, and you're big enough to handle it.
“Did you not help us in the past?” Yes, you did help us in the past.
“Will you not do it again?” Yes, you will do it again!
That's the way you need to pray when you're overwhelmed. No matter what the situation is, remind yourself first who God is, what he's done, and then ask him to do it again. Once you've done that, you're ready to talk about your problem.
Talk It Over
How will remembering that God is bigger than your problems change your perspective on the difficult situation you're facing?
What is the difference in praying in expectation? How do the three questions about God help you pray expectantly?