A Balanced Prayer

  • June 13, 2016
Monday 13

2 Chronicles 20:5-12

Christians today can learn some valuable lessons from the prayers found in the Old Testament. When Jehoshaphat petitioned for divine help, he struck a balance between asking the Lord to meet his needs and proclaiming God’s greatness. Likewise, our requests should be made with recognition of who God is. Otherwise, the focus of our prayers can become need, weakness, failure, or fear.

Jehoshaphat cried out to God about his terrible predicament, but he also exalted the Lord’s attributes, acknowledging the great things He had done for them. When we pray with this attitude, we become stronger, bolder, and more forthright. That’s why knowing the Word of God is so important. When we read about how the Lord has worked in the lives of others, we better understand His awesome power and might. Then we can look to the men and women of the Old Testament as an example and begin to pray in a similar way. God’s wonder-working power is still available to us today, and He wants His children to access it.

By proclaiming, “Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You” (2 Chron. 20:6), Jehoshaphat was praising God and at the same time reminding himself of the Lord’s greatness. As you pray, speak to God of His mercy, talk to Him about His grace, and recall His mighty power.

Do you want to revolutionize your prayer life? If you give as much attention to declaring the attributes of the Lord as you do to making requests, your prayers will take on a whole new dimension. They’ll cease to be self-centered and instead will become God-centered.

Bible in a Year: Psalms 15-18

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5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court,

6 and he said, O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.

7 Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?

8 They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying,

9 Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us. '

10 Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them),

11 see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance.

12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You."

6 and he said, O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.

1 O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart.

3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

5 He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

1 Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2 I said to the LORD, You are my Lord; I have no good besides You."

3 As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4 The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5 The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.

6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7 I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8 I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.

10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

1 Hear a just cause, O LORD, give heed to my cry; Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips.

2 Let my judgment come forth from Your presence; Let Your eyes look with equity.

3 You have tried my heart; You have visited me by night; You have tested me and You find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.

4 As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept from the paths of the violent.

5 My steps have held fast to Your paths. My feet have not slipped.

6 I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.

7 Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand From those who rise up against them.

8 Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings

9 From the wicked who despoil me, My deadly enemies who surround me.

10 They have closed their unfeeling heart, With their mouth they speak proudly.

11 They have now surrounded us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast us down to the ground.

12 He is like a lion that is eager to tear, And as a young lion lurking in hiding places.

13 Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him low; Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword,

14 From men with Your hand, O LORD, From men of the world, whose portion is in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your treasure; They are satisfied with children, And leave their abundance to their babes.

15 As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.

1 I love You, O LORD, my strength."

2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death encompassed me, And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me.

5 The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.

7 Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry.

8 Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.

10 He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

12 From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire.

13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.

14 He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.

15 Then the channels of water appeared, And the foundations of the world were laid bare At Your rebuke, O LORD, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

16 He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my stay.

19 He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

20 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, And have not wickedly departed from my God.

22 For all His ordinances were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me.

23 I was also blameless with Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.

24 Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes.

25 With the kind You show Yourself kind; With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;

26 With the pure You show Yourself pure, And with the crooked You show Yourself astute.

27 For You save an afflicted people, But haughty eyes You abase.

28 For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.

29 For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.

30 As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

31 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God,

32 The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless?

33 He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places.

34 He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.

36 You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them, And I did not turn back until they were consumed.

38 I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise; They fell under my feet.

39 For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

40 You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me, And I destroyed those who hated me.

41 They cried for help, but there was none to save, Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.

42 Then I beat them fine as the dust before the wind; I emptied them out as the mire of the streets.

43 You have delivered me from the contentions of the people; You have placed me as head of the nations; A people whom I have not known serve me.

44 As soon as they hear, they obey me; Foreigners submit to me.

45 Foreigners fade away, And come trembling out of their fortresses.

46 The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be the God of my salvation,

47 The God who executes vengeance for me, And subdues peoples under me.

48 He delivers me from my enemies; Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent man.

49 Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name.

50 He gives great deliverance to His king, And shows lovingkindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever.

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Publish Date September 21, 2017
God’s Sovereignty and the Existence of Evil

God's power over evil is evident throughout the stories in Scripture.

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