Sixth, thank God in advance. Imagine standing on a mountaintop looking across a valley towards a mountain on the other side. A big battle is about to take place down below. On one mountain, three enemy nations are poised and waiting to devastate Israel. The Israelites are on your mountain, and their leader Jehoshaphat tells them, ‘Here’s God’s battle plan. All of those who sing in the choir, I want you out front.’
So the army goes marching into battle with the choir on the front line singing praises to God. Did the plan work? Yes. The opposing armies got confused and ended up killing each other—and all God’s people had to do was divide up the plunder! Why did God do it this way? As a visual object lesson to teach us to praise Him in faith even before the victory takes place. When you pray, ‘Lord, I know I have problems, but I thank You in advance because there’s no situation You can’t take care of,’ three things happen:
(1) Your atmosphere changes. You no longer feel afraid because you have the assurance of God’s presence.
(2) Your attitude changes. You begin to say, ‘Lord, this may be too big for me, but it’s not too big for You.’
(3) Your approach changes. Instead of speaking words of doubt, you start speaking words of faith. And because your faith honours God, He honours your faith and the battle begins to turn in your favour. And here’s another important key to victory: don’t just praise God for a while and then quit; keep praising Him until your breakthrough comes.