“Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”
2 Chronicles 20:3-4
This, by the way, is probably my favorite chapter from 2 Chronicles.
The armies of Judah’s neighbors are beginning to surround them in order to devote them to destruction. They could be extinct in a few days. If you were king, what would you do?
Jehoshaphat could’ve done many things. He could’ve called on some allies, prepared his army, bought some help, but his response provides a great teaching lesson when we are in trouble: He declared a fast and instructed all to seek the Lord.
Prayer and fasting was not his second option. It was not something we just do on the side to make sure we appear to be doing right. Prayer and fasting was his first and only option.
To many Christians, this child-likeness is foreign in our everyday walking with the Lord. The solution to many of our problems, we vainly think, are within reach of our wisdom, of our money, of our resources, of our friends, etc… but rarely in the spirit of complete and utter dependence on the Lord God.
We, as Christians, need to make prayer (and fasting) our first options in all our struggles so that Christ may be exalted in us.