The Power of Praise
2 Chronicles 20 (Jehoshaphat)
(Susanna is sitting on the step, holding a paper, looking dejected.)
Michelle: (Enters) What’s wrong, Susanna?
Susanna: This. (She hands the paper to Michelle, who reads it out loud.)
Michelle: “Soap Box Derby Contest. Enter your car for a chance to win the blue ribbon and cash prize of $100.” (Turns to Susanna)
Ariana: That’s great! Let’s build a car. We might win $100.
Susanna: We might, if it wasn’t for this. (Hands Michelle a second piece of paper.)
Michelle: (Reads) “ We’re going to win, win, win! You’re going to lose, lose, lose!” It’s signed, “The Cool Kids.” Who are they?
Susanna: It’s that group of kids at school. They want everyone who enters the contest to know they’re going to beat them. I started building a car and they found out. Then I got this note. It took the wind out of my sails, and I don’t even feel like I have the energy to try anymore.
Ariana: Sounds like you have a hearing problem.
Susanna: What do you mean?
Ariana: You’ve been listening to the voice of your enemies instead of the voice of God. You need some praise power to get you back on your feet!
Michelle: That’s right. Remember that story about Jehoshaphat? They were facing a huge army that was going to wipe them out!
Ariana: Right, but when God said that the battle was His, they sent out the praisers before the troops.
Michelle: And God’s people won!
Ariana: What does the Bible say about joy, Susanna?
Susanna: (Dejectedly mumbling) The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Ariana: I can’t hear yoooou.
Susanna: (A little louder) The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Ariana: (To Michelle) Let’s help her! All together—
All three: The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Ariana: Great! Let’s go build that soap box car!
Teacher teaches lesson here.
Susanna: (Wearing the soap box car, which is actually a box with straps over her shoulders.) I’m a little nervous. The other teams all dropped out.
Michelle: Don’t be! You’re going to do great!
Ariana: Remember that praise power. God will help you do your best.
Cool Kid A: (To friends in group) Look who showed up for the race! (Yelling across to Susanna and team) Hey, you guys. I hope you like to lose, because we’re going to win, win, WIN!
Two other cool kids: Yeah! Win, win, WIN!
Cool Kid A: (Thinks it’s a big joke.) Aw, that’s so sad. Do you know why? It means you’re going to lose, lose, LOSE!
Two other cool kids: Yeah! Lose, lose, LOSE!
Susanna: (Ready to quit) That’s it. I’m done.
Michelle: (Stopping her.) No! You’re going to see this thing through. Remember what the Bible says? The joy of the Lord is your strength!
Ariana: Don’t listen to them. Say it! The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Susanna: The joy of the Lord is my strength.
(Ariana and Michelle step back to cheer from the stage.)
Susanna: Okay, Lord. I know you’re with me, and I choose to praise you, even though it doesn’t look like I can with this thing. I’m just going to have fun and do my best!
Official: Oh your mark, get set, GO!
(Susanna starts out running around the classroom with her box. The Cool Kids immediately have car trouble, and it won’t go.)
Cool Kid A: It won’t go! What’s wrong?
Cool Kid B: Um, I think I left the parking break on.
Cool Kid A: What! Fix it, quick!
(They fix it, but they’re hopelessly behind now. Susanna goes across the finish line and wins
Michelle and Ariana: Hurray! Our team won!
Cool Kid A: (Finishing last and is mad at her friends.) It’s all your fault!
Cool Kid B: No it isn’t. It’s her fault.
Cool Kid C: No it isn’t. It’s her fault.
(Leave arguing whose fault it is.)
Official: I’d like to give you this ribbon and this check for $100. Great racing out there.
Susanna: Thank you, but the whole team gets credit for this. Without my friends, I couldn’t have done it.
Ariana: Or without the joy of the Lord. It gave you strength to finish the race!
Michelle: Let’s go celebrate!