|Theme: Reliance on God in Prayer
|Focus on: Asa
|Reading Portion(s): 2 Chronicles 14|
|– Important Background Information|
|– Helps you find strength in God|
|What this article teaches you|
| We make choices in life all the time. One such choice is reliance on God. This choice is not made because we are weak and powerless. It is made even when we have strength of our own. It is made in spite of having every resource to meet our need. This choice does not surprise anyone who relies on God.
They rely on God in prayer because they know that God shows Himself mighty on behalf of the powerless. By choosing not to rely on their own strength or resources, they are telling God in prayer that they are relying on Him. In other words they choose to be powerless so that reliance on God in prayer will unleash God’s mighty power on their behalf. Thus they gain victories that last for a lifetime.
When King Asa came to the throne of Judah, God gave his country peace for ten years. Asa used these years of rest to build up the fortified cities of Judah. Moreover he did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. So during his time there was a constant seeking after the Lord and a steady building up of towns and its defenses. They built everything they wanted to and they prospered in all this. Thus they effectively utilized the years of rest that God had graciously provided them with.
After all this, Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army. They had three hundred chariots too. King Asa went up to meet him in battle. They took up battle positions in the Valley of Zepahthah near Mareshah.
Then King Asa prayed to the Lord. This small prayer is a beautiful example of total reliance upon God in prayer. It is as if a small bird hopped on to the strong body of a powerful eagle and let itself be carried on its wings up into the vast expanse of the skies.
Asa first of all tells God that there is no one like Him to help the powerless against the mighty. What made Asa pray like this? This is an important question since by the number of his fighting men recorded in the Bible we cannot think that he was powerless. He had three hundred thousand fighting men from Judah and two hundred and eighty thousand men from Benjamin. All of these were equipped with large and small shields, spears and bows. More importantly they were all brave fighting men. So it defies logic to say that Asa was powerless.
Yet he had prayed that there is no one like God to help the powerless against the mighty. So this prayer requires much consideration. Asa was right. He had understood with his constant seeking after God that it was not the number of fighting men that counted in battle. But he knew that it was reliance on God that makes all the difference. He therefore, in spite of his big army, chose to rely on God.
In his prayer, he further makes it very clear that he was seeking God’s help because they were relying on Him alone. What a lesson to be learned! There are many occasions in life when we too will have to face situations like what Asa faced. The opposing forces will be vast. We too may have great strength and resources to meet any challenge from them. But the crucial question is whether we are willing to choose to be powerless?
Yes, it is a choice that we can make. In spite of all the strength that we possess we can choose to be powerless. It means that we do not rely on our resources even when they may be adequate to meet the need.
Such a choice is very important if God has to act. He only shows himself strong on behalf of the powerless. God’s might will not be exhibited for those who are in themselves strong. It is impossible for God to act when His people think that they have strength and power with them. It is only when we tell God that we rely on Him, and Him alone, that He shows Himself mighty on behalf of the powerless. And being powerless is not the absence of strength but a deliberate choice to rely not on our own strength but on the mighty resources of God.
That is why we find Asa telling God that they have come against the vast army in His name. Therefore He asks God to help them and not let man prevail against God. God gave them a mighty victory. This victory also gave Asa and his country another twenty five years of rest during which time they sought the Lord with all their heart.
Reliance on God in prayer is a deliberate choice to be powerless in spite of having great strength and resources on our side. Reliance on God therefore means plugging into the source of power, which is God Himself. Reliance on God not only gives us victory; it also gives us rest which we can utilize to seek God with all our hearts!