2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
It has been said that there are no atheists in foxholes, meaning that in a crisis, people feel compelled to turn to God for help. That’s what presumably happened in the days of Jehoshaphat, when he heard that a vast army was coming to invade their land. He called a fast and together the people came to seek God’s help.
King Jehoshaphat prayed before the assembled people, confessing that though they did not have the power to face this adversary, they would keep their eyes fixed on the Lord. Then God responded through words uttered by Jahaziel, to tell the people to march up against them, take up positions, stand firm, and know that the battle belongs to the Lord. Jehoshaphat’s foxhole prayer was effective, because God sent word that God would bring deliverance. God will be with them.
Prayer is good in the midst of a crisis, because a crisis allows us to remember that God is in charge and not ourselves. Foxhole prayers can be some of the richest prayers of faith. Prayers on a daily basis are also good. It’s fine to ask God for help when you can’t find something, are looking for a parking space in a crowded lot, or want to use the right words to talk with the boss. God will listen when we’re worried and afraid in a big crisis, and God will listen when we puzzled or simply need a little help. God helps us when we are willing to trust and obey.
Build us up in trust, Lord, so that we may come to you with confidence and be faithful to do what you say. No matter what is before us today, large or small, let us count on you as a friend who will guide us and help us. Keep our eyes fixed on you, to the glory of your name. In Christ we pray, Amen.