The other day I had a friend that was going through one of those really tough battles in life. For circumstances that were out of his control, he found him self losing his job and his family and well pretty much everything. He came to me and wanted to know what he should do. Have you ever been there, someone is looking to you for answers and you feel like you have nothing to give them. There I was, I did not know what to say. Truth be told, the reality was we both knew that he needed to hear from God and not from me. So I said the christian default statement, “Lets pray about this.” It just so happens that when we bowed our heads and I started to pray God laid upon my heart a scripture. I had not read it in a long time but I could not shake it. We find this story in the book of 2 Chronicles 20 where King Jehoshaphat is in trouble. There is this great army that is made up of several different kingdoms and they all have come to take Judah and Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat calls the people of God together and they pray! Well things get pretty awesome after the people go and seek God. God shows up and speaks prophetically through His people and God says: “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the battle is not yours but God’s!” As I recalled these words, the Lord moved in my heart to actually turn and read to him the rest of the story.
2 Chronicles 20:18-22 (NIV) Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
I had not remembered the part about the worship of the Lord, just the prayer. I am so glad that the Lord led me to read this passage because not only did it lead my friend and I to worship the Lord right there in my office, it changed my perspective about worship all together. Prayer and Worship are not only important to a church service, but in 2 Chronicles we see that when we put prayer and worship first, the Lord goes ahead of us. It reminds us that the battle is the Lords and we need not be afraid no matter what size the battle might be. Leading people in worship of the Lord allows God to restore their hope in Him, the only One who can deliver us. It is kind of like the story found in Exodus 17 where the people of God are at war against Amalek and while Moses had his hands raised in Worship, the people of God prevailed. When we worship we welcome God’s presence. The Psalmist said it this way “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” When we pray and worship God, He shows up bringing: deliverance, healing, prophetic words, and all other kinds of manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In short, when we pray and worship God, we find that His presence is our victory!