Praying With Scripture
In 2 Chronicles 20, the king of Judah, King Jehoshaphat is facing a serious situation. They are getting ready to face a battle-hardened group of people who are bent on his destruction and the nation of Judah’s defeat. So the king gathers the people together and prays. He petitions God’s help but he does it through Scripture.
He begins his prayer by mentioning a long series of promises from Scripture. In verse 6 he says “…are You not our God…” and in the first half of verse 7 he adds how God “drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel.” He mentions how God gave them this land and states how they are descendants of Abraham in the latter part of verse 7. Further, in the same verse, he says Abraham was the LORD’s “friend forever.”
Next, in verses 8 and 9, he mentions the sanctuary in the name of the LORD. He again turns to lessons of Scripture, referring to Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8 when the temple was originally dedicated. He indicates how when the people faced adversity like “the sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this temple…and cry out to you in our affliction and YOU WILL HEAR AND SAVE!” (Emphasis mine)- 2 Chronicles 20:9.
Jehoshaphat is praying Scripture. It might be one of the most effective ways to pray. Remember, God doesn’t need to be reminded of His Word; you don’t need to pray Scripture back to Him to remind Him, but when you pray Scripture you remind yourself of what He said. Praying Scripture reminds us of His promises. It bolsters our faith and makes more confident to “come boldly to the throne of grace” – Hebrews 4:16.
It also encourages others. Remember when Jehoshaphat is praying, the people are gathered together, all of them are asking “help from the LORD” – 2 Chronicles 20:4. Here the king has called them all together, proclaimed a fast and now, in front all these people, as he is praying he is reminding them of the promises of God.
It’s one thing to pray for God’s intervention in a situation or to ask for His protection, but when you pray His promises back to Him, you are giving power to your prayers. It’s like your prayer engine has been given a boost of high octane fuel. It strengthens your faith and rather than meekly asking God and hoping He isn’t too busy to respond to your situation, you are confident.
King Jehoshaphat knew he needed to pray Scripture. The people were looking to him for encouragement and he knew how to inspire them and himself. He reminded himself of everything God had promised to His people by praying Scripture. It’s a great pattern for us to follow in our prayers.
Blessings my Friends!