Prayer Against All Odds
One thing you ought to know about me is that I love listening to worship music. I mean, I know as Christians that we should listen to worship music, but I truly find joy in listening to worship music. Listening to how the songwriter weaves together every note, instrument, scripture, and personal experience into a song of praise for the King of Kings is just amazing.
One song that has been on my frequently played over the past two years is the song “Battle Belongs” by Phil Wickham. If you’re not familiar with the song, (we sang the song as a congregation two weeks ago) here is how the chorus goes:
“So when I fight, I'll fight on my knees With my hands lifted high Oh God, the battle belongs to You And every fear I lay at Your feet I'll sing through the night Oh God, the battle belongs to You”
When I fight, I’ll fight on my knees with my hands lifted high. This song is about prayer. Since the song’s release, it has become one of Wickham’s most popular songs, serving as a reminder to many that our prayers have power.
Recently, Wickham cited one of the main pieces of scripture that inspired the song was the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. At that time, the armies of three nations marched together against Judah. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, called all of Judah together to pray to God, and a fast was declared. With the entire nation together, Jehoshaphat prayed to the Lord, thanking Him for all he had done, telling Him of their current situation, and asking Him to save them (20:1-13).
Then, Jahaziel, a prophet, stood up and spoke a word from the Lord to Judah.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”
2 Chronicles 20:15-19 NIV
The next day, Jehoshaphat and the army of Judah marched to the field of battle. Rather than having some of his best warriors at the front of the pack, however, he appointed worshipers to lead the army into battle, singing and praising the entire way.
As they marched, the Lord turned the three armies against one another. Before Judah even reached the valley, the armies had decimated each other, leaving nothing but the spoils of victory for Judah (20:20-26).
And so, despite every ounce of logic, Judah won a battle that they were sorely outnumbered and outmatched in, all without lifting a finger. God’s promise to Jehoshaphat that he and Judah would not need to fight the battle came to fruition.
The same promise applies today to each and every single one of us. Instead of the three armies, our battle is against sin and death and we have absolutely no chance of winning that battle on our own. And yet, God makes our victory a certainty through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“We can fight on our knees knowing that He has gone before us - the battle is already won,” said Wickham. “When we pray, we stand in the truth of His resurrection and resounding defeat of death.”
And if you are reading this and you are not sure how to “fight on your knees,” then follow in the footsteps of King Jehoshaphat. Pause. Give thanks to God for all that He has already done in your life. Then bring your situation to God, don’t spare a single detail, He wants to hear from you what you are going through. Finally, ask Him for His help. We believe in a good, loving God who has promised us that he will never forsake us.