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"We are helpless in the face of this large army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but we look to you for help." (2 Chronicles 20:12 GNT)
When you feel overwhelmed, it's important to go to God in prayer and confess your inability and inadequacy. You need to be honest if you're afraid and tell God exactly how you feel.
In 2 Chronicles 20:12, Jehoshaphat says to God in prayer, "We are helpless in the face of this large army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but we look to you for help" (GNT). Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like there was a problem in your marriage, your career, or somewhere in your life that you thought was overwhelming? You start at the beginning of the week thinking maybe you can handle it, but by Wednesday you're out of power.
Maybe you've felt like the author of this poem:
"The world had a hopeful beginning
But man spoiled it all by sinning
We trust that the story
Will end in God's glory
But right now the other side's winning."
Have you ever felt like that? You pick up the newspaper, and it looks like the bad guys are winning. There are kids killing other kids in our schools! The moral and spiritual climate of our society is collapsing. It looks like the bad guys are winning in many ways.
So what do you do? You say, "God, we're powerless, and we don't know what to do." You tell God exactly how you feel.
It's interesting when you compare verse 12, where it says we're powerless, to verse 6, where Jehoshaphat says, "God, you have all the power in the world." It doesn't matter if you're powerless if God has power. If you put your trust in him, he'll take care of you.
I don't have to have power. You don't, either. And you don't have to pretend that you do. All you have to do is trust in God, who's got all the power that you need.
Talk It Over
"King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud." (2 Chronicles 20:5b-6a NLT)
There is no problem that is too big or too small for you to pray about. Chronicles 20:5-6 says, "King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud." That's a good thing to do!
It's important when the odds are stacked against you to pray a certain way that is different from the way you normally pray. Jehoshaphat gives us a model of the three things you need to pray when you feel overwhelmed.
His prayer is built around three questions: Are you not? Did you not? Will you not?
"Are you not God?" Yes, you are in charge, and you're big enough to handle it.
"Did you not help us in the past?" Yes, you did help us in the past.
"Will you not do it again?" Yes, you will do it again!
That's the way you need to pray when you're overwhelmed. No matter what the situation is, remind yourself first who God is, what he's done, and then ask him to do it again. Once you've done that, you're ready to talk about your problem.
Talk It Over