October 14

God-Centered Prayer

2 Chronicles 20:1-18

2 Chronicles 20:1-18Someone once asked me if I had ever heard myself pray. Having never done this, I decided to record my voice as I prayed about a matter of deep concern. After listening to the recording, I thought, God, I don't think I would answer that prayer either. It was filled with negative descriptions of how bad the situation was and how "down in the dumps" I felt.

After suddenly encountering a fearful situation, Jehoshaphat chose a different approach: he sought the Lord through God-centered prayer. Instead of coming to the Father with a "woe is me" attitude, he began by focusing on the Lord's power and sovereignty (v. 6), His past faithfulness to Judah (vv. 7-8), and His promise to hear and deliver them (v. 9). Only after strengthening his faith through these reminders of God's adequacy did he make his petitions (vv. 10-12).

He ended his prayer with the words "nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You" (v. 12). There is great wisdom in waiting for the Lord's direction while keeping our focus on Him. Not only does this strengthen our faith, but it also enables us to see His answer. Eyes fixed on the impossibility of the situation rarely discern God's guidance and intervention on our behalf. 

In prayer, we choose to either magnify the Lord or our difficulty. Are you concentrating on the faithfulness of almighty God or your overpowering problem and negative feelings? Let's keep our eyes on Him and wait with complete confidence until we see the great things He will do for us.

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Some days it seems as if a spirit of anger is permeating the entire world. News stories of violence, road rage, and international discord fill the airwaves. If that were not enough, our families are also being torn apart by unresolved conflicts. Where do we turn for peace in this angry world? 
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