By Carol J. Ruvolo
God included many prayers in the Bible to help His people learn how to pray. One of the most instructive prayers is tucked away in the book of 2 Chronicles. Perhaps you share my inclination to skim over it quickly. If so, my prayer is that The Prayer of Jehoshaphat (not to be confused with Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Prayer of Jabez) will not only strengthen your prayer life but also your conviction that all Scripture is indeed profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
This wise, insightful, and conversational exposition of 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 examines the effective prayer of a righteous man and concludes that such prayer doesn’t “just happen.” Instead, it is rooted in the deep knowledge of God, motivating a habitual turning to Him for help in all situations as a first resort, not the last. Jehoshaphat, the fourth king of Judah, was a good king whose primary focus was the glory of God and faithfulness to His desires. He was not a perfect king, which makes his example all the more encouraging for us as we strive to serve God in our weakness and imperfection.
Jehoshaphat’s prayer was his first response to a paralyzing event. A mighty army was advancing against him, and his own forces were pitifully powerless to resist its assault. Have you faced situations like that: locked in the grip of real, intense, freezing fear; helpless before an enemy you cannot overcome; unable to run, unable to hide, unable to win? Where most of us tend to lose our wits, Jehoshaphat naturally “set his face” to seek the Lord.
The Prayer of Jehoshaphat reveals the breadth, length, height, and depth of God-focused prayer. Studying it has helped me in overcoming my tendency to fall apart in the face of overwhelming assault, enhanced my ability to pursue my commitment to walk worthy of my high-calling in Christ, and equipped me to more effectively glorify and enjoy God. It has blessed me immensely. Buy a copy and study it well. Then buy some more copies and give them to people you care deeply about.