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Applying the Principle of Praise

Applying the Principle of Praise

Excerpts from Intimacy With God; Establishing a Vibrant Quiet Time and Prayer Time by Tara Furman © 2009 by Knowing God Ministries and Tara Furman.

Coffee Talk for Thursday, August 14, 2014
Today’s Focus:  Praising Jesus in all circumstances
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Tara Furman
Blessing:

Heavenly and precious Father, we love You. We praise Your mighty name because only You are worthy to be praised. You are the Creator of the Universe and the Lover of our Souls. Thank You that You care enough about us to send Your Son to die for us so that we can have a relationship with You. Thank You for the opportunity to study Your Word and get closer to You in the comfort and safety of our homes. Open our eyes and ears to hear Your Word and grow closer to You. Also open our hearts and fill them with Your love to overflowing. We do love You, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

This Week’s Treasure:

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.

Psalm 100:4

Main Course:

My daughter, Caroline, has had serious health issues since she was 2 years old. (At this writing, she is 6.) Due to the medications she is on, we have to see an ophthalmologist every 6 months. On a routine visit 2 years ago, the doctor saw something on her optic nerve that concerned her. As I sat holding Caroline on my lap, I could tell the doctor was trying to minimize my concern, but her non-verbals spoke volumes. She immediately ordered an MRI of the back of her eye and brain. She was concerned of a possible brain tumor.

As you can imagine, my emotions flew into orbit. Fighting back the tears in front of my then 4-year-old, I couldn’t get out of the office quick enough. I rushed to my cell phone and called my dear sister and just said, “pray - I need help!” Even remembering this difficult time brings tears to my eyes.

That same night, as I fought back tears in doing the simplest of tasks, I began humming a tune from Vacation Bible School that summer. The chorus went as follows:

I will be trusting God with all my heart—

No matter what, no matter where; no matter when;

I will depend on Him, I will not lean on my own understanding;

In everything I do, I’ve got to have courage to trust in God. 7

The rubber was meeting the road. I told others I trusted Him, but did I? Did I really trust Him with my precious Caroline? (Actually, she’s HIS precious Caroline, whom He has graciously loaned to me.)

I immediately found the CD, took Caroline by the hand and said, “Let’s dance.” As we danced and sang the song over and over again, fear lost its grip and it was replaced with peace, trust, and confidence. It was not from me – it was supernatural. But can I tell you that I never cried, worried, or fretted after that night? [ed note: Previous sentence either needs a question mark or reworded—not quite sure what you’re intending here.] Praise replaced the mounting fear that was trying to move in and take up residence. The POWER of praise and trust in my God – wiped it away!

We waited seven long days for that MRI to take place. Every time fear reared its ugly head, I chose 8 to replace it with this song. This praise song gave me the victory I needed to conquer my mounting fears.

2 Chronicles 20

Read verses 1-4.

Name the ‘ites’ coming against the king and Israel.

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A vast army of “ites” were coming against King Jehoshaphat. Do you ever feel like you have a vast army coming against you? Our “ites” can be defined as anything that makes us feel totally insecure and helpless. Examples of such “ites” are: expenses that surpass your income, a spouse that is indifferent or has left you, a bad diagnosis, being a victim of a natural disaster, or when our whole world falls apart.

These hardships, pressures, problems, and difficulties can render us utterly helpless.

What was King Jehoshaphat’s first emotion?

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How did he respond?

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What overwhelming “ites” are you currently facing?

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What is your first response when you are in ‘fear’s’ death grip?

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Do you call a friend? Do you manipulate or try to figure things out for yourself? Will you, like Jehoshaphat, resolve to inquire upon the Lord? Proverbs 3:5-6 says to “trust in the Lord with all of your heart. To lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways to acknowledge Him and that He will direct your path.” Our first reaction to feeling helpless should be to turn to God and His Word.

Read verses 5-12.

What does Jehoshaphat’s prayer consist of in verses 6-9?

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What does verse 10 consist of?

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What do verses 11-12 consist of?

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This chapter is one of my favorites in the entire Bible. Notice how he prayed in verses 6-9. His prayer is comprised of the following: four verses filled with praise and adoration of God, one verse reminding God of His Word, two verses proclaiming the problem he was facing and his dependence upon God. Before studying this passage, my prayers would have probably been the exact opposite of how Jehoshaphat prayed. But this is the power of the Bible. It teaches us how to effectively communicate with our loving God. The Bible shows us what moves His hand quicker than anything. I now try to remember the Bible’s example of how to pray when my own set of “ites” are marching against me. Instead of telling Jesus all my problems, I’m challenged to tell Him how great He is, how sufficient He is to meet my needs. I remind Him of the promises He’s made to me. And then, “by the way Lord, I have this problem that needs your attention.”

Read the last sentence in verse 12 again. It’s a gem! What does it say?

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When my own personal “-ites” are marching against me, I repeat these verses almost word-for-word. I choose to spend the majority of my time in praise of Him. And then all throughout the day when my mind wanders and worry tries to set in, I pray, “Lord, I have no power to face this vast army that is attacking me. I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you. I thank you that even though I can’t see you working out this issue — You are! I praise you and thank you Lord!” These are arrow prayers 9 that I pray throughout the day.

How did the Lord respond to Jehoshaphat? (v 15b) (As spoken through the prophet.)

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What commands does God give to Jehoshaphat and Israel? (v17)

1.

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2.

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What comfort did the Lord give to the Jehoshaphat and Israel? (v17)

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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If you are in difficult circumstances with the “ites” marching against you, take these words as promises to you from God. Ask Him to make them bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh. Write them down on index cards. Take them with you everywhere you go. When fear or worry rears its ugly head, be reminded that this battle is not yours but God’s. Be reminded that you don’t have to fight this battle nor do you have to be discouraged or afraid. KNOW, that the Lord is with you every step of the way through your difficult season. It may not FEEL like He is with you, but we cannot base what we believe on our feelings, other’s opinions, or on circumstances alone. We have to believe what God says in His Word. A Scripture that gives me great comfort in times of difficulty is Hebrews 13:5. It says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” We must take God at His Word and not depend on our fickle feelings.

What was Jehoshaphat’s response (verse 18)?

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Read verses 20-22. There were three ways the “ites” were defeated. Name them.

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2.

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3.

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What are ways to apply this chapter from the Bible to your own life?

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The people OBEYED the Lord despite their fear and despite how they felt. They went out in faith based upon God and His Word alone to face their “ites.” Their enemy was defeated and by their position of prayer, praise, and thanks to God! (2 Chronicles 20:17, 20-21)

When we apply the principles from this chapter of 2 Chronicles, we too will have victory over the “ites” in our lives. Our circumstances might not immediately change; however:

-peace will immediately fill our troubled hearts and minds;

-little by little we will be freed from our fears;

-we’ll gain God’s perspective of the situation;

-we’ll be able to distinguish between what is important and what is not;

-we’ll be lifted above our circumstances; and

-we’ll live in a joy that no one can take away from us.

Rest in knowing that no matter what battle we are facing, God will either:

1- Deliver us from the battle ......................... Result: our faith is built

2- Deliver us through the battle ..................... Result: our faith is refined

3- Deliver us out of the battle by walking us safely into his arms ......................... Result: our faith is perfected

Anne Lotz writes in My Heart’s Cry 10, “The highest form of genuine praise is not an emotional, arms lifted, body moving, tears rolling down your cheeks at a conference or church kind of praise. Genuine praise is gut-wrenching affirmation of faith uttered in the darkness of desperation as you cling to Him alone.” Sometimes our praise will be a spontaneous overflow of our hearts. Other times it will be an act of our will. Jesus honors both types of praises equally.

Dear friend, this is when our theology comes alive. This is when the rubber meets the road - application of God’s principle found in the Bible, His true Word.

Journal Response

Take a few moments to meditate on our study today.

Where there particular Scriptures or statements that spoke to you personally?

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2. _____________________________________________________________

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3. _____________________________________________________________

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How can you praise God today based upon what you learned?

Closing Prayer:

Thank You Lord, for pulling us up out of the slimy pit and setting us firmly on solid ground. Walk with us through our day and help us to feel Your presence as we seek to become closer to You. It’s in Your precious name that we pray, Amen.

References:

Furman, Tara (2009). Intimacy With God: Establishing a Vibrant Quiet Time and Prayer Time. LawrenceInk, and The Abare Group.

Unless otherwise specified, All Bible verses will be quoted from: The Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.

Scripture quotations marked NLT, New Living Translation; copyright 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers.

Footnotes:

7 Trusting God; LifeWay VBS; Arctic Edge 2005.

8 We have to be deliberate in what we allow to come into our minds. Make the decision to CHOOSE trust.

9 Arrow prayers are prayers shot up to heaven throughout the day — either prayed audibly or silently. God hears them all.

10 My Heart’s Cry; Anne Graham Lotz; W Publishing Group; Nashville; 2002; p 57

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment below.
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Encouragement Café was given permission by Knowing God Ministries and Tara Furman to bring you this study via Encouragement Café. Visit Tara here if you would like to purchase this study in its entirety and/or the Prayer Journal which accompanies it.
To learn more about Tara and see her speaking schedule, visit her at her blog: Tara Furman; Helping Women to Hear and See Jesus in Their Everyday Lives.

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