One of my favorite comic book stories growing up was an Avengers story called “Under Siege.” In the story, a group of supervillains come against the Avengers in a way that destroys their headquarters, private possessions and almost the team. On the brink of defeat, the Avengers seemingly have lost everything they held dear.
But the smallest hero and current Avengers leader, the Wasp, has had enough. She gets up and declares: “The Masters of Evil still have control of the mansion. … They still have hostages. But I swear they have won their last round! Now, it’s our turn.”
Now is our turn to turn the battle over to God.
In the midst of so much chaos, it’s easy for us to get lost in the lie that God has abandoned us or he’s simply not interested or invested in what’s going on.
We’ve heard the rhetoric time and again about 2020 being a horrible year with no redemption. But the very horrors are a reminder and preparation to return ourselves back to God and let him fight this battle, because now it’s his turn.
A prayer unlike any other
In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, is besieged by a sudden alliance of three armies—the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites. They all have made one promise—to take over Judah.
Past kings of Judah and Israel would have been quick to gather their armies and go to battle; Jehoshaphat is wiser. He leads his people by example and decrees that everyone in the land fast and pray before the Lord.
During a public prayer, Jehoshaphat says: “O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12, ESV).
As king, Jehoshaphat could decree whatever he wanted, and someone would do it in a heartbeat. But he knew, while he was a man of much power, he had very little in the presence of God. In affirming God’s power through prayer, Jehoshaphat unlocked his own.
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When we pray with power and passion, we connect ourselves wholeheartedly to God. We acknowledge the One we’re praying to is much stronger, wiser and better than us. It is a humble prayer, and in this present time, we need all the humility we can get.
A prayer like this is powerful for building trust in God and for building hope in ourselves. It lays everything out on the table and doesn’t back down in the face of evil. A prayer like this shows the enemy judgment will come from God and not from man. A prayer like this is essential when we are under siege. For we are “powerless,” and “our eyes are on” the Lord.
A protection from the Most High God
In this season of our lives, we are powerless. We have nowhere else to go—quite literally. We are at the mercy of many menaces, and we’re boxed in. But we can look to the hills from where our help comes, and there will be the Lord waiting for us.
After he prayed to God, Jehoshaphat encounters a man speaking for God who tells him, thanks to his prayer and leadership, “The battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15b, ESV).
From that point, the enemies they were so worried about dissipated and dispersed until they were all dead. Not only did Jehoshaphat and his army collect their winnings, but the Bible also says it took three days to collect everything.
They won, because they remembered the Lord.
The Lord provided his protection, because they remembered him, worshipped him and called out to him. He protected them, because they trusted in the Warrior before being worried about the war. If we run away before seeking the Lord first, we may very well miss out on what God has in store for us.
You’ve probably heard this before: “If God were real, why did he allow this to happen?” Isn’t it like the enemy to use the bad things that happen to make us doubt the protection of God? It is OK to wonder about God sometimes, but wondering is the prime opportunity to seek the Way-maker.
God fights for you
God allows us to go through these challenges so we experience his grace and are grateful for his protection. If you already had the answer, you wouldn’t need God. But in realizing you need God, you’ve won this war without even fighting.
Humble yourself before God, and realize he—and only he—can fight this battle for you.
As I read the Avengers story about a team facing insurmountable odds and being inspired to keep going, I was reminded of the introductory line for each issue: “And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s Mightiest Heroes found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born, to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand alone.”
That day is coming, when the Lord unites himself with you to fight against a threat unlike any other, because he will protect you, avenge you and fight for you against what you cannot withstand alone.
Turn over the battle to God, because it’s a battle he’s already won.
Aaron Cobbs is a digital copywriter for The Potter’s House of Dallas and attends Concord Church. He currently resides in Dallas with his wife, Aletha. The views expressed are those solely of the author.