I’ve got a PASSION for it!
Since I run a business and ministry centered on prayer, it might seem unnecessary to state. But I find it necessary to remind myself periodically why I am so driven to see an excitement for prayer take root in the lives of others. In fact, maybe because prayer is such a big part of my life, it is even easier to let that passion grow cold. Sadly, communing with the God of the universe can just blend in to the rest of everyday life.
I thank God for His grace in my life that refuses to let me lie too long in the ashes of mediocre prayer. Keeping a prayer journal and being able to go back and see a record of God’s faithfulness, as well as being given opportunities to share the stories of His answers to prayer with others, are great ways to rejuvenate the embers of my prayer life.
This past weekend, I was given some opportunities to look back.
Looking back reminded me that I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to go back to where I was years ago, before Throne of Grace was born. I don’t want to return to the stale, man-sized prayers I was praying! Yet, it is so easy to slip right back there!
Instead, I want to press on toward bolder, bigger, GOD-SIZED prayers that take faith to dream, faith to believe, and that result in a clear movement of God.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:12-14 NIV)
I want to pray Sun-Stand-Still Prayers like Joshua.
Do you know the story? It’s my favorite example of confident prayer – a lesser-known Bible story, buried in the Old Testament. It comes from Joshua 10 and it is a powerful example of the God of the Universe bending His ear to the simple prayer of one of His children.
At the beginning of Joshua, chapter 10, we read that 5 Amorite armies are preparing to attack the Israelites. Johsua is leading the army of God’s people and he decides to have the people march all through the night in order to attack the Amorites before the Amorites can attack them. Sometime during the night, the Lord speaks to Joshua and says, from verse 8:
“Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands.
Not a man of them shall stand before you.”
So day breaks and the Israelites attack the Amorites and the battle seems to be going well. The Amorites begin to flee and Joshua and his men go after them. Then the Lord really gets involved and verse 11 tells us that He hurled large hailstones from heaven and more Amorites died because of the hailstones than died by the sword of Israel.
This is where the battle takes an interesting turn. The sun begins to sink as night approaches but the victory is not yet complete. Joshua knew that once nightfall came, the rest of the Amorite army could escape under the cover of darkness. But Joshua remembered God’s promise that not one of the Amorites would be left standing, and he was determined to continue the battle until they had achieved complete victory.
I think I would have stopped there. Joshua and his men had marched all night, then engaged in hand-to-hand combat ALL day! He had already personally heard God’s voice and witnessed a super-natural intervention that had killed the majority of his enemies while miraculously sparing every one of his own people! But Joshua didn’t stop there. Joshua stood in the gap for his people and prayed the boldest prayer he could think of. Joshua 10:12 says:
“Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
And what happened?
“The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel.” (verses 13-14)
What a dramatic example, don’t you think? Joshua’s prayer literally led to the Lord causing the sun to stand still for a whole day!
Don’t you want to see the Lord’s power evidenced in your life like that?
I’m not saying we start praying for the sun to stand still during naptime to give us those extra hours we need to get stuff done around the house – though that would be nice! But I want to challenge you to think about the things you ask the Lord for…perhaps He wants you to ask for more.
Do you sense God calling you to a bolder, more confident prayer life?
Let us know you thoughts by leaving us a comment below. Then be sure to come back tomorrow for Part 2 when I’ll share some practical examples of my Sun-Stand-Still prayers and look at some of the obstacles the enemy throws our way to keep us from praying with passion.