Prayers for God’s Leading: 2 Chronicles 20: 5-12
Shaping a time of prayer for dwelling with Bible texts, prayer responses, songs of faith, and a concluding benediction.
Orienting Scripture Text
What shall I return to the LORDfor all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. -Psalm 116:12-14
I love the Lord, who heard my cryand pitied ev’ry groan. Long as I live and troubles rise, I’ll hasten to God’s throne.
-Isaac Watts, paraphrasing Psalm 116:1-2
Central Scripture Text
Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem,
in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
and said, “O LORD, God of our ancestors, are you not God in heaven?
Do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations?
In your hand are power and might,
so that no one is able to withstand you.
Did you not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel,
and give it forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?
They have lived in it, and in it have built you a sanctuary for your name, saying,
‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine,
we will stand before this house, and before you, for your name is in this house,
and cry to you in our distress, and you will hear and save.’
See now, the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir,
whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt,
and whom they avoided and did not destroy—
they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession that you have given us to inherit.
O our God, will you not execute judgment upon them?
For we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us.
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” -2 Chronicles 20: 5-12
O LORD, God of our mothers and fathers,
With King Jehoshaphat of old, we exclaim with confidence and delight: “Are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.” You are our Lord, and rule over us. You are our Father, and we your beloved children. Your Spirit buoys our own spirits when we recall that Your power over us is shaped by your love for us. With Jehoshaphat, both in fear and in worry, in confusion and fretfulness, we (must) admit often that: “We do not know what to do.” So many are the choices we face; so many, the decisions we must make; so many, the forks in the road of our lives, and of our life together, that we face. Our way forward is dark and unclear. Fear keeps pricking at our minds and hearts; the giants of worry and dread rise up to challenge us. But, with Jehoshaphat, humbly we declare: “Our eyes are upon You.”
With our gaze fixed upon You, O Lord, may we discover Your Spirit moving us, more and more,
-from fear to trust,
-from fretfulness to calm,
-from fitful starts and stops to resolute steps.
Our hearts—and our choices and decisions-- we offer to You, Lord, promptly and sincerely. Amen
- The Choral Scholars: "Abana in Heaven" (The Choral Scholars with Norma de Waal Malefyt and Greg Scheer)
- Gospel Choir: "Lord, I’m Available to You" (Calvin College Gospel Choir, Charsie Randolph Sawyer, director)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13