Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Power in Prayerful Praise

I’ve noticed about myself as of late, that my eyes have been looking at the trials or the negative things around me and it is overwhelming me.  The result is not a pretty sight within my soul.  Thankfully, God being the loving Father that He is, sends me gentle reminders to look to His Word for answers.  Here is a powerful story in the Old Testament that speaks to my soul and re-aligns my eyes back on Him.

In II Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites are faced with an overwhelming army that is ready to destroy them.  Jehoshaphat is notified and calls for a fast and then assembles all the Israelites.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard  and said:

“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven?  

You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. 

 Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.

 Our God, will you not judge them?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Power and might are in your hand….we have no power, we do not know what to do.  His prayer starts with praise acknowledging God’s powerfulness, and then humble recognition that we do not have power and do not know what to do.   How freeing is that?!  To remember who has the power and to simply and humbly let go of the need to know what to do!
Jehoshaphat hears a word from the Lord and he says…

 ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s.  Tomorrow march down against them…. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

After he says this they all begin to worship and praise God.  They did not have the answer of HOW God was going to do this, and they did not wait for God to DO this.  They simply began to praise Him.

The next day they head out in a most extraordinary way.  They lead their army with a choir singing praise. 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”    

As they marched forward in worshipful prayer, God moved in response to their obedience and destroyed the army before they even stepped foot on the battleground. 

With joyful hearts they returned to their city and entered the temple, singing and praising God for His faithful rescue. 

They faced their trial with prayerful praise, they entered into their trial with trusting praise, and ended with celebrating praise. 

So yet again, with a thankful heart, I put my headphones on, crank up the music, and sing His praise,… remembering who has the power.

Hands open, palms up,
A visual of the unseen.
Letting go of my way.

Arms raise to You,
Act of giving –
Giving of self, of life, of needs and wants.

Head bows.
Accepting in pure humility,
Helplessness of self.

Face smiles
As praises pour from lips,
Cannot be contained.

Heart accelerates;
This mystery of dying to self,
Brings joy.

Hands close in fists
Clinging to Your strength and power,
Which is to be revealed.

Not for self,
But for self and life, needs and wants
To shout – Look At God! Look What He Can Do!

Father, You are all Powerful, to You be the Glory.  Thank you that I don’t have to face these trials on my own power.  Thank you that I don’t have to have all the answers.  Thank you that I can trust you as I continue my journey, one prayerful step at a time.  My heart sings your praise.
In Jesus Name, Amen

- Sue Parrott

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