How did this happen? God intervened. But why did God intervene? Because Judah sought the face of God, instead of being motivated by fear to run for the hills. King Jehoshaphat, a Godly king, turned his, and all of the nation of Judah's attention to seek the Lord. "Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi)." Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD." (2 Chronicles 20:2-4)
Jehoshaphat was afraid AND turned his attention to seek the Lord. He didn't react to the fear. Instead, he responded to the fear by setting his full attention on God, not on what could have appeared as imminent destruction! When fear motivates you and me, we tend to imagine every possible tragic scenario. But (like Jehoshaphat), when we know our God, and His promises, we respond to the sudden onslaught of fear by focusing, not on the circumstances, but on God, who He is, what He has done, and what He said.
It is not only the fact that King Jehoshaphat and the entire nation of Judah fasted and prayed that brought victory, it is how they prayed that also made the difference. I like to call it the prayer of faith. The prayer led by Jehoshaphat started like this: "God, are you not...?" Are you not what? "God, are you not God in the heavens?" "And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You." (2 Chronicles 20:6) These questions were actually very powerful declarations of faith and truth in question form! "God, YOU ARE God in the heavens! And YOU ARE ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations! Power and might are in Your hands so that no one can stand against you."
Then King Jehoshaphat directed this prayer of faith from "Are You not...?" to "Did You not...?" Did you not what? "Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?" (2 Chronicles 20:7) This powerful declaration was actually... "God, YOU DID!"
The essence of the prayer of faith is: "God, You are!" "God, You Did!" And I like this one, "God, You will!" "O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." (2 Chronicles 20:12) Again, this statement, in question form, was actually a powerful declaration of faith. "God, YOU WILL judge our enemies!" Today, from a New Covenant perspective we can add, "God...YOU SAID!"
Instead of preparing for imminent physical war, King Jehoshaphat and the whole nation of Judah were fasting and seeking the face of God Almighty. It's true, they were powerless in this confrontation, nor did they know what to do (in a physical war-type manner). But their eyes were fastened on Jehovah God! The result was miraculous. God required them to go out and see the salvation of God, on their behalf. On the way out, they sang songs of praise, worship, and victory.
As a result of seeking God, fasting and praying the prayer of faith, God spoke through the profit and made it clear to King Jehoshaphat and Judah that He would fight this battle for them. They went out at God's direction, and saw first-hand what God will do to His enemies! As they were going to meet the enemy, God caused massive confusion to fall on their enemies. They destroyed each other. When Judah arrived at the battle scene, their enemies were dead. Again, it took three days to gather and bring back the spoils of the victory!
If you know Jesus, you are His. As you seek to know Him more, to learn His Word and apply it, your prayer will be transformed from powerless to powerful. Never forget, He IS, He DID, He WILL, and He SAID! Trust His Word as you declare it from your mouth! Expect the miraculous!