King Asa of Judah prayed as he prepared to lead his army against a more powerful military force. Asa ruled a nation far less powerful than it had been when his great-great-grandfather David ruled it. Like David, Asa worshiped God faithfully, although his pride and anger occasionally caused him to sin.
“Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, ‘LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you” (2 Chronicles 14:11).
The king appeals to God’s covenant with his people but also notes God’s love for justice with the observation that God will “help the powerless against the mighty.” He calls for God to remember his relationship with the people of Judah and the lineage of David. We remind both ourselves and God of our relationship when we pray. Relationships include obligation and commitment. In God’s relationship with his people, the Lord acts justly, and contends for the weak. Asa’s prayer reveals trust and reliance upon God as well as awareness that people in covenant with God act in his name.
As we Christians live in covenant with God, we must remember the responsibilities of acting in God’s name. We are God’s, and Christ’s, ambassadors; our peers may evaluate our God based upon our lives. Asa knew too well the weakness of his army; we know too well the weakness of our faith. Let’s pray that we will rely upon God when under attack, and plan now that our actions will reflect the values of the one in whose name we act.