We all face times where we feel overwhelmed. The world seems dark and the path set before us darker. It could be in the face of wars and rumors of war. It could be that phone call from the doctor you’ve been dreading. It could be an economic crash that causes you to lose your job.
We fear when the outcome seems uncertain or bleak. We fear when we are staring down a situation and we have no clue what to do.
Judah under the reign of King Jehoshaphat faced such a situation. In 2 Chronicles 20, armies from four different nations threatened Judah. Hearing that the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites had declared war, and that a large army from Edom was on the march and closing in, Jehoshaphat was terrified.
But instead of letting fear overwhelm him, we read that he “begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting” (20:3). Yes, Jehoshaphat trembled with fear. Yes, the situation presented a daunting challenge and a dreadful outcome. But the king chose to trust in the One who was greater and had shown himself mighty against Judah’s enemies before.
At the end of his prayer, Jehoshaphat admitted his powerlessness, and then he concluded, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (20:12).
Here we find a prayer for those uncertain times and moments of fear. James said that when we face trials and lack wisdom, we are to ask God for help and he gives generously (James 1:2-8). That plea for help doesn’t need to be long and detailed, or couched in a bunch of religious language. Our plea only needs to admit our complete dependence upon God.
We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
It’s a simple prayer. Often in the face of uncertain times or great dangers, we don’t know what to do. So we ask. We go to God and beg him for guidance, and even fast if we feel we need to. After all, God is the great Father, the One who will never leave nor forsake us. So we seek him.
This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.
Image from: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies