Solving Problems Through Prayer
Charles F. Stanley
Memory Verse: 2 Chronicles 20:1-31
I. Introduction: Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t have any problems. However, it does mean you can turn to your heavenly Father instead of wrestling with difficulties in your own strength, according to your own wisdom. This is exactly what Jehoshaphat did when he learned that three armies were about to attack his kingdom, Judah. The king immediately turned to the Lord by calling his people to fasting and prayer. From Jehoshaphat’s example, we can learn several key principles about solving problems through prayer.
II. God is interested in your problem.
A. Jehoshaphat immediately turned to prayer when he learned of the impending attack (2 Chron. 20:3), because he knew God cared about what concerned him.
B. If you are His child, the Father is interested in helping you overcome anything that is discouraging or defeating you (Ps. 62:8).
III. God is greater than your problem.
A. Jehoshaphat knew the immense danger his nation faced, yet he acknowledged the mighty power of the Lord to overcome anything (1 Chron. 20:6).
B. The Father is perfectly capable of leading you to victory, no matter what the situation may be (Jer. 32:27).
IV. Our first response should be to seek the Lord.
A. Jehoshaphat immediately turned to prayer (2 Chron. 20:3) instead of calling his generals together to discuss war strategy.
B. In times of crisis, do you initially go to the Lord? I challenge you to seek Him first. Let God put your problems in perspective, and then tell a wise friend who can support you with prayer and godly advice.
V. God may want to involve other people in praying for your situation.
A. Sometimes the things that worry us affect other people, such as our families, churches, or communities. Jehoshaphat involved the whole nation in praying for the Lord to deliver them from their enemies (2 Chron. 20:3-4).
B. One of the greatest blessings in life is having godly, trustworthy friends who know how to intercede on your behalf.
VI. God will provide a solution to your problem.
A. While the people of Judah were in prayer, the Lord revealed that He would fight the battle on their behalf (2 Chron. 20:15).
B. We also can trust that God, who for our sake did not spare Jesus the agony of the cross, will willingly give us what we need (Rom. 8:31-32).
C. The Father will sometimes delay answering prayers because He wants to develop in us greater spiritual maturity. He is more interested in our character than our comfort.
VII. Our prayers should be God-centered, not problem-centered.
A. Jehoshaphat’s prayer focused almost exclusively on the Lord’s power and His promises to deliver His people (2 Chron. 20:6-12).
B. When you pray, do you tend to focus on the trial before you? Choose to focus on the Father’s love, and your problem will seem smaller and less frightening.
VIII. God’s solution usually requires an act of faith.
A. Important decisions typically challenge our confidence to some degree. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God revealed that He didn’t want Judah to fight at all. Sure enough, in confusion, their enemies turned on and killed each other (vv. 21-25).
B. The Lord’s instructions won’t always make sense from a human point of view. However, if the answer is truly from Him, He will provide the faith needed to follow His commands.
IX. God’s solution is always best: The Lord knows every intimate detail of any situation, including the personality and past of each person involved. If we are willing to trust in our heavenly Father, we will discover the best solution possible.
X. Conclusion: Do you think God is interested in your trials? Do you believe He’s able to help you overcome any problem? I pray that you would surrender to Him completely, focusing on His awesome power and faithfulness to provide in His timing. In God’s hands, your problems aren’t roadblocks but opportunities to develop a more intimate and dynamic relationship with Him.