I was reading the account of Jehoshaphat as he and Judah faced a great battle. The first thing King Jehoshaphat did was to declare a fast and pray. There were four components of his prayer that caught my attention.
1. Recognize Who God Is
When Jehoshaphat began his prayer, he prayed “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! (2 Chronicles 20:6). When we pray, the first order is to recognize who it is we are praying to. He is the God of heaven and earth, He is the ruler over all, He is the powerful and mighty One, He is the One no one can stand against! What do you declare about who God is?
2. Review What God Has Done
This isn’t for God’s benefit, but for your benefit. In 2 Chronicles 20:7-9 Jehoshaphat did a quick review of what God did to bring Judah to the place they currently were. When you pray take a few moments to review what God has done in your life. Review how you have gotten to where you are. Review His goodness, His mercy, and His love for you. Reviewing what God has done gives us faith and hope He will do it again. What has God done for you?
3. Remind Yourself Of God’s Promise
Jehoshaphat was reminding himself and God (although I think God knew His promise), that God had given them the land that was now threatened by the invading armies (2 Chronicles 20:10-11). When you come to God in prayer remind yourself of His promises. God has promised many blessing for the child of God. Don’t be afraid to repeat the promises of God back to Him in your time of need. What promises of God have you forgotten and need to be reminded about?
4. Request Your Petition
God is ready to grant your petition you just have to request it. When the invading armies were coming down on Judah, Jehoshaphat’s petition was simply this “O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this might army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” (2 Chronicles 20:12). God knows what we have need of, but we are still to ask Him for what we need. What is your request of God today?
The four “R’s” of prayer
Have you prayed today? Now’s a good time to start!