Ingredients of an Epic Prayer

Sermon Notes-Pastor Milton Vincent
January 8, 2012, Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

2 Chronicles 20

We are like the people we read about in 2 Chronicles chapter 20 in that:
-They were being attacked by forces that they were no match for.
-They were in a place of powerlessness and ignorance.
-It was a hugely consequential moment.

SEVEN INGREDIENTS OF A HUGELY CONSEQUENTIAL PRAYER FOUND IN 2 CHRONICLES 20

1. Seeking God. (v.2-4)
-Seeking not just an answer from God, but God Himself.
-The people who were after Jehoshaphat and his people were a great migrating multitude. (v. 2)
-Jehoshaphat was afraid (not just mildly worried, but shattered!) and sought the Lord. (v. 3,4)
-He declares a fast so all can seek the Lord together. (v. 3)
-Nothing else is important at this point, just find God!

2. Looking at God and voicing what is seen.
-Jehoshaphat doesn’t jump directly to his request, but takes a moment to look at God. (v. 6)
-…but our eyes are on you. (v. 12)
-Behold your God, His goodness and His Grace and this will have a shaping effect on our prayers.

3. Rehearsing God’s Story and one’s place in it. (v. 7-9)
-When praying, rehearse the story of God’s gracious favor and what He has done for you.
-Prayer is a venue where we can rehearse the details of our Gospel story.
-Our request before God fits within a larger storyline-i.e. before the world began you were predestined to be saved, forgiven, a child of God and one that He died for.
-As you pray for others, rehearse their story and God’s goodness and grace in their lives before making your request.

4. Looking at circumstances through God’s eyes. (v. 10-12)
-In a sense and in part, prayer is getting into the mind of God and praying from His perspective.
-Verses 1-3 show Jehoshaphat to be shattered by fear, but in these verses he sees his circumstances through God’s eyes.

5. Confessing weakness and ignorance to God. (v.12)
-We read these amazing words from a king as he confesses in front of everyone:

“…we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

-We will probably never hear a world leader say these words publically, but God has the back of a man who is willing to confess his weakness and helplessness.
-Pray willing to admit helplessness.

6. Listening to God. (v.13-17)
-God speaks in these verses and the people listen.
-They would’ve never received this direction if they hadn’t prayed. James says you have not because you ask not.
-We are often too busy trying to do things on our own rather than listening to God.

7. Worshiping God. (v.18-23)
-The people worship God before He has actually done what He said He would do.
-They faced the opposition by worshiping God.
-They went to battle singing the song of victory.
-When they began to sing and worship, the Lord provided the victory.

The Christian’s life begins in helplessness and that is when salvation comes. It is an ongoing pattern.

Note from Terrie: It’s really worth it to go back and re-read the entire 20th chapter of 2 Chronicles. Lots to learn here and lots to trust God to teach us.

About Terrie van Baarsel


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