Helpless But Not Hopeless

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 20:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him." 2 Chronicles 20:3,4

What is the first thing do when:
- the school bully and his friends are after you?
- your Mom loses her job?
- someone steals your bike?

King Jehoshaphat’s big problem was a huge army coming to fight him. When he heard this, he was worried. But he didn’t do things like make his army bigger, call for help from another king or panic. Instead he asked everyone to join him in fasting and praying to God, till he got God’s instructions of what to do next.

Many families came to Jerusalem from all over Judah to pray. They met outside the temple. Grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads, girls and boys stood there while Jehoshaphat prayed aloud.

No sooner had Jehoshaphat ended his prayer by telling God how helpless he felt than God’s Spirit gave Jahaziel, one of the Levites, a message. What three things did God say to Jehoshaphat through Jahaziel? (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)

1. This battle is not yours but God’s.
2. Do not be discouraged or afraid.
3. Pay soldiers from Egypt to join your army.
4. Face you enemies tomorrow and God will be with you.

How relieved Jehoshaphat must have felt when he got this answer. He could have chosen to make his own plan, like his father Asa did. Instead, he chose to ask for God’s instructions – and got them.

God wants us to ask for His help too. Our helplessness gives Him a chance to be strong. Whatever your troubles are, pray to God about them. He would love to fight for you too.

PRAYER: Dear God, I bring ____ (name your problem or the problem of someone you know) to You. Please tell me what to do. Amen.

MORE: Prayer and Fasting?

Fasting is stopping to do something for a certain amount of time. People usually fast from food (don’t eat for one meal, one day or longer). But we can also fast from activities like watching TV, going on the internet, playing video games or going shopping. A person who is fasting may use the time usually spent in doing that activity to pray.

People in Bible times often fasted. People today fast too. When we fast it says to God:
- I want to be with You more than to be eating food, watching TV, playing video games etc.

- I am very serious about my prayers.

- I am depending on You to answer my prayers.

Is God telling you to pray and fast about your problem? If He is, why don’t you do it? If you choose to fast from food, make sure you get permission and supervision from your parents or guardians.

Answers

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