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approach of a vast army from Ammon, Moab, and Seir, three kingdoms that had formed an alliance against Judah. Jehoshaphat, knowing that his own army was no match for the invaders, turned to God for help.
He proclaimed a time of prayer and fasting, and people from throughout the land poured into the capital to take part. Then, in the midst of all the people, Jehoshaphat prayed. “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in Heaven? You rule over kingdoms and nations, and power and might are in Your hand. None can withstand You.” As the king continued, people’s spirits were strengthened. “We know that in the time of calamity, whatever peril it may be, if we stand in Your presence and cry out to You in our distress, You will hear and save us. We have no power against this great army that comes against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
Then a young priest named Jahaziel prophesied with a loud voice, “Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s!” The story narrates that God had heard their prayers and would save them. “You will not need to fight in this battle,” God’s message through Jahaziel continued. “Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.” King Jehoshaphat bowed to the ground in worship. The crowd followed the king’s lead, while the priests raised their voices to praise the Lord.
The next morning as the troops made preparations for battle, King Jehoshaphat encouraged them. “Believe in the Lord your God, and so shall you be established. Have faith in His prophets, and so shall you have good success.” The king consulted with the people, and it was decided that singers should lead the troops into battle. That daring step of faith showed that they believed God would protect them.
“Praise the Lord for the beauty of His holiness,” Jehoshaphat instructed the singers as they took their position. “Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” They were thanking God in advance for the victory He had promised the day before.
No sooner had they begun to sing and praise, then God “set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” The Bible doesn’t specify what those “ambushes” were, but it does explain that the men of those three invading kingdoms began to fight among themselves. First the men of Ammon and Moab rose up against those of Seir, and when they had destroyed them, the two armies destroyed each other. When the army of Judah came to a promontory overlooking the battlefield, they saw only dead bodies on the ground. No one had escaped. Jehoshaphat and his men gathered so many valuables from the bodies that it took them three days to collect them all. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, which means “the Valley of Praise,” and there they glorified God. Then they returned home with joy, for the Lord had triumphed over their enemies. The fear of God came on all the neighboring kingdoms when they heard how He had interceded for Judah, and “the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.”
What an amazing story of the power of faith, prayer and praise—and that same power is available to us today. Whenever we face a problem that is too big for us, if we pray with our whole hearts and believe the promises God has given us, we can then face whatever it is that threatens to undo us, praising God and thanking Him by faith He will support us.
Praise is the voice of faith. If you really believe God has heard your prayers, you will start praising Him for the answer, even before you see it. When you’re tempted to get down and discouraged, remember the power of praise and look to God.
Here is a song of praise in Psalm 145: Praising God’s Greatness
I exalt You, my God the King, and praise Your name forever and ever.
I will praise You every day; I will honor Your name forever and ever.
Yahweh is great and is highly praised; His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation will declare Your works to the next and will proclaim Your mighty acts. I will speak of Your splendor and glorious majesty and Your wonderful works.
They will proclaim the power of Your awe-inspiring acts, and I will declare Your greatness.
They will give a testimony of Your great goodness and will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in faithful love.
The Lord is good to everyone; His compassion rests on all He has made.
All You have made will thank You, Lord; the godly will praise You.
They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom and will declare Your might,
informing all people of Your mighty acts and of the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; Your rule is for all generations. The Lord is faithful in all His words and gracious in all His actions.
The Lord helps all who fall; He raises up all who are oppressed.
All eyes look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time.
You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways and gracious in all His acts.
The Lord is near all who call out to Him, all who call out to Him with integrity.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry for help and saves them.
The Lord guards all those who love Him, but He destroys all the wicked.
My mouth will declare Yahweh’s praise; let every living thing praise His holy name forever and ever.