There is a great story in the book of Chronicles that illustrates some vital truths to getting answers to prayer. We will learn from this story the importance of not just petitioning God but praising God before the answer comes. Praise delivers powerful results! If you’ve been petitioning God regarding a need in your life but have not postured yourself into a position of praising God for the answer, it just might be time for you to throw a praise party!
Here is the storyline. King Jehoshaphat and the nation of Israel had their back to the wall with three nations coming to attack them. Their enemies were on their border ready to attack. Israel needed immediate deliverance! The story takes place in three settings beginning in the wilderness of Tekoah, then at Mizpah (a watchtower in the wilderness) and finally to the valley of Berakah (meaning blessing). Israel discovered the power of praising God before their need for deliverance came to pass.
There in the wilderness of Tekoa they petitioned God. Jehoshaphat led in prayer putting God in remembrance of His Word which He promised to King Solomon at the Temple dedication years ago. After He prayed the promise the Spirit of God fell upon the prophet and inspired him to give Israel instructions. The prophet said…
It will not be necessary for you to fight in this conflict. Take your positions, stand, and observe the deliverance of the LORD for you, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be filled with terror. Tomorrow, go out before them, and the LORD will be with you.” -2 Chronicles 20:17 MEV
After the Spirit moved and the promise from God was declared notice how Jehoshaphat responded. He worshipped and praised the Lord!
Then Jehoshaphat bowed his face to the ground, and all Judah and those dwelling in Jerusalem fell before the Lord to worship Him. And the Levites from the descendants of the Kohathites and Korahites rose up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a very loud voice. -2 Chronicles 20:18,19 MEV
The following day they had to face their circumstances. Jehoshaphat encouraged them to stand in faith and they would see deliverance. They left the wilderness of Tekoa to approach their incoming enemies and as they approached the border they came to a watchtower called Mitzpah. (Watchtowers were built through out Israel as a memorial and witness that God would keep watch over Israel and her enemies. The stone built watchtowers between Israel and her enemies were about 20 feet in diameter and 14 feet high.) Now as they went to approach the invading armies they began singing and praising about the goodness of the Lord. Look what happened…
So they rose up early in the morning and went out to the Wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and those dwelling in Jerusalem. Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be supported. Believe His prophets, and you will succeed.” And he consulted with the people and then appointed singers for the Lord and those praising Him in holy attire as they went before those equipped for battle saying, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were defeated. And Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, and they turned to the vast army and saw only corpses lying on the ground. And no one was spared. -2 Chronicles 20:20-23 MEV
What an amazing turnaround for the people of God. God made good on His promise and demonstrated His power as Israel approached the problem with singing and praising! They plundered the spoils of their enemy in the Valley of Berakah which means the valley of blessing!
Then Jehoshaphat and his people came to gather their plunder, and they found among them an abundance of riches with the corpses, and precious jewelry, which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. They were gathering the plunder for three days because there was so much to carry. On the fourth day they gathered at the Valley of Berakah, because there they blessed the LORD. For this reason people have called the name of this place the Valley of Berakah until this day. -2 Chronicles 20:25-26 MEV
So we learn from this story some vital truths to getting answers to prayer. So take these simple steps in prayer.
- First, put God in remembrance of His promise to you.
- Second, wait upon the Holy Spirit to give you a witness in your heart and wisdom concerning your situation.
- Then, begin to praise God for His goodness and faithfulness to you until your perspective changes and your heart is anchored in peace. Then the answer will come, its only a matter of time!
Want to go a little deeper about the power of praise? Think of the backdrop to the story. When you follow these steps in prayer you will move from ‘Tekoa’ to ‘Mizpah’ to ‘Berakah’. Now the meaning of these locations emphasizes the lesson we are learning.
- Tekoah means stockade, it is a barrier formed from upright wooden posts or stakes, especially as a defense against attack. Tekoah is the place where you plant your stake in the ground and believe God’s promise to you.
- Mizpah means watch tower. This is the place where you arrive and get a divine perspective after you have been praising God. Praising the Lord for His goodness gives you a whole new perspective on your situation.
- Valley of Berachah means valley of blessing. This is the place of answered prayer where your joy is made full. When you see God fulfill His promise to you, your overwhelmed by His goodness and you can’t help but rejoice!
What key ingredient brought the children of Israel ‘Tekoa’ to ‘Mitzpah’ to ‘Berachah’? It was praising God! It’s the same key to moving you from your need to your answer! Praise changes everything! It just might be time for you to throw a praise party!