In the previous article, I began to outline the subjects mentioned in the Lord’s Model Prayer as found in Matthew 6. I hope that you found it helpful and have begun applying it to your daily prayer life. Jesus did not invent the subjects of this Model Prayer on the spot. Most of Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels comes directly from the Old Testament. Some people believe that Jesus was just making up His teachings as He went about His public ministry. This could not be further from the Truth. Jesus taught much directly from the Old Testament or made allusions to It while He ministered to the public. The subjects of the Model Prayer are not different. We can actually see these subjects in many prayers offered in the Old Testament. I would like to focus on one of those prayers in this article, King Jehoshaphat’s prayer which is found in II Chronicles 20.
To set the context of the prayer, verse 1-4 tell us that King Jehoshaphat and his people are under attack from a large combined army of people from Moab, Ammon, and Meunite. They are all from Aram. King Jehoshaphat is afraid. He is in need of help. He does not seek his advisers. King Jehoshaphat turns to the Lord for help and he invites all of the people to join him. When the people all came together to seek help from the Lord, King Jehoshaphat stood in their midst and offered up his prayer.
I.Father – Child Relationship
King Jehoshaphat begins by recognizing that God is their God and they are His children. They have a personal relationship with God that is unique among all the nations of the earth. God is not some far off being who observes them. God is right there with them. They know Him and He knows them. They have a relationship with one another. They communicate with each other. They spend time together. This is exactly how the Lord’s Model Prayer begins. Those who have a personal relationship with God can come to Him in prayer. He hears them and He will answer them.
The prayer moves from acknowledging a personal relationship with God to worshiping God. King Jehoshaphat was very familiar with the history of Israel, specifically, how God was involved in the details of Israel’s history. King Jehoshaphat’s prayer is a form of worship, acknowledging who God is and what He has done. He is worthy to be worshiped and praised because of who He is. King Jehoshaphat knows the character of God and appeals to that character.
King Jehoshaphat’s prayer reveals that he and his people exist to exalt the Name of God and accomplish the will of God among the inhabitants of the earth. King Jehoshaphat is concerned more about the Name of God among the nations than he is about his own protection and the protection of his people. He would like to be protected and for his people to be protected. But, above all else, he has submitted to the will of God and he wants the will of God to be carried out because it will magnify the Name of God. This also lines up with what we learn in the Model Prayer that Jesus gives to us in Matthew 6.
The next point in King Jehoshaphat’s prayer is that he humbles himself, and encourages all of the people to humble themselves and come to God and ask for help. God knows that they have needs and He wants to meet those needs. He waits for them to humble themselves and come and ask. It creates a dependence on Him. King Jehoshaphat not only petitions the Lord for help for himself, he also intercedes on behalf of others, his people. This is what the Lord’s Model Prayer teaches us to do. We petition the Lord for our needs, but not only our needs, we also ask on behalf of others.
King Jehoshaphat and his people need deliverance from their enemies. God has promised to provide for them and give this deliverance to them. All they have to do is ask and believe that He will keep His Word. God does hear King Jehoshaphat’s prayer and He does provide deliverance just as He promised.
I have a feeling that our Lord may have had this prayer in mind when He shared the Model Prayer with His disciples. I love the fact that the Bible always gives practical examples of spiritual truths. I also love the fact that our Lord used the Bible when teaching His disciples. I pray that as we teach others God’s Word, specifically in the area of prayer, that we will remain faithful to the Word and not add what we think, feel, or believe. This is the key to praying effective prayers and teaching others to pray effective prayers. May the Lord help us learn from King Jehoshaphat’s example.