In our last lesson, we discovered that although the emotion of fear is not uncommon, it is NOT a spirit given by God; therefore fear is NOT an emotion that God desires His children to rest in because of its decomposing affects to our faith. We learned that our response to fear should always be to seek the Lord’s help in all situations through prayer. So today let’s talk about the “Expectations of our prayers.”
Too often we, Believers, mistakenly assume that our prayers will not and cannot be answered immediately. We act as if God is not attuned to the prayers of His children and that His responses to our prayers are only futuristic in nature; meaning far, far down the line… In actuality this type of thinking demonstrates a lack of faith on our part. In today’s lesson we will review the timing of God’s response to King Jehoshaphat and the house of Judah, in hope to help us change this form of thinking.
2 Chronicles 20:13-15 (NASB) - 13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.14 Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; 15 and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.
Fear and distress due to the pending evil intentions of their enemies has driven King Jehoshaphat and the whole house of Judah to seek God through fasting and prayer.
13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.
Picking up with verse 13 we find all of the people participating in the decree as commanded by King Jehoshaphat. Notice if you will how the bible specifies those in attendance… It is here that we are given a perfect example of corporate family worship as they humbly positioned themselves together to seek God, by faith (with expectation) through prayer, as one body, acknowledging that they could DO NOTHING apart from His power.
Unfortunately, in our society today, we see more often just the opposite; members of one household worshipping disjointedly (in multiple locations) with shared family worship and prayer taking a back burner, to satisfy our own self-center spirits of independence.
If you would, imagine with me the positive impact in our marriages, homes, schools, and communities, should we again go back to the steadfast foundational principles of obedience, sacrifice, and prayer as a family unit in calling upon the Lord. There is no doubt in my mind that our nation would be changed!
14 Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph;
Now read again with me verse 14 above from our Observation Scripture: Did you see it? While the words flowed from their lips, while they were still speaking, God heard and answered without delay; it was a speedy answer!
Despite what we may think, it is the same with us today; If it is within God’s will, we too can experience a speedy answer.
Our job is to seek God through prayer, and anticipate His response, LOOK FOR IT! Now I am certain you know what I mean when I say simply look for it! Do you need an example? Okay: just imagine being told that you were a beneficiary to large sum of money left by distant relative and the paper work to his/her estate with a very LARGE cashier’s check was in route to you…Would you not be looking for it with great anticipation? Absolutely!
So if we can imagine exhausting excitement and anticipation over a limited gift from man, why is it so hard for us to exhaust excitement in anticipating a positive, limitless, and speedy response or gift from our Heavenly Father? Answer: Doubt, a lack of faith.
Jeremiah 33:3 – ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
Truth: God knows every intricate detail about our lives, He cares about our well being, He desires that we seek Him for His delivering power, He hears us when we seek him with our whole heart, and He loves to answer the prayers of His children when we ask in faith, with no doubt!
Remember our Saviour Jesus’ words in Matthew 21: 21-22 regarding the confidence we should have when we pray; - 21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
15 and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.
God’s Spirit of prophecy rested upon Jahaziel, a Levite priest, right in the middle of the congregation: As a matter of fact, God addressed their heart concerns head on and upfront by saying: Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude.
God always addresses our heart issues first; it is His desire that we are made whole. He not only seeks to fix our problem circumstances but He seeks to conform us to the Image of His Son, Jesus.
After God instructs them (us) to not walk in alarm and in feelings of discouragement then he gives them (us) an assurance of victory by saying for the battle is not yours but God’s.
(1) Let’s promote the principles of both prayer and worship as a family unit and the training of our children together in learning to seek God.
(2) Look for and learn to anticipate God’s speedy response to your prayers.
(3) PRAY, and then PRAISE God with thanksgiving, knowing with ALL CONFIDENCE that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
(4) Please do not forget, God does not move because we have done a lot nor because we have done the right things; He answers us because we are His children and He loves us. So ask and expect, while trusting that He will decide His timing, which is always best!
Additional Memory Scriptures:
Matthew 6:5 [The Model Prayer] -“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Matthew 6:6 – But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Matthew 6:7 – And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Mark 11:24 – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.