Yesterday I shared the story of Joshua’s Sun-Stand-Still Prayer from Joshua 10. If you missed that post, you’ll want to start HERE.
Thinking through the inspiring story of how God answered Joshua’s prayer, one thing is clear:
The bolder our prayers, the more His answers unquestionably come from Him.
Who could watch the sun refuse to set for an entire day and not call it an act of God??
As I began to take inventory of the prayers I was praying, I found that many of the answers I was looking for were things I could either essentially accomplish on my own, or could pretty easily take credit for accomplishing on my own. I was challenged to see that the Lord is glorified when my prayers require God-sized answers.
Let me give you a few examples.
“Lord, I pray that you will give me the time I need to accomplish the tasks put before me today.” That’s a pretty typical morning prayer for me. And there is nothing wrong with it. But I found that at the end of the day when my checklist is crossed off, I was patting myself on the back saying, “Good job! You did it!” Instead, I’ve begun to pray, “Lord, in the midst of all the interruptions and challenges to my day, I pray that you will allow me to accomplish the tasks that YOU have for me today.” For me, this is a bolder prayer because it is, in my mind, giving God “permission” to interrupt my plan, with the faith that He will work in me to accomplish His Sovereign Will for that day.
Another one…”Lord, I pray that Colin & Lucy will come to know you as their Lord and Savior at a young age.” I would hope that this prayer is at the top of the list for each of our children! But why stop there? What if instead I pray, “Lord, I pray that Colin & Lucy will grow to be godly leaders among their generation and that You will use them mightily to impact their world for You.”
Hopefully you are getting the picture.
Satan wants to keep us from praying Sun-Stand-Still prayers. In my life, he uses fear. But God has graciously showed me that the fear of praying bold prayers is a result of my own pride. I don’t want to be wrong and I don’t want to look like a failure. If I pray boldly for something and God does not answer in the way I am asking, then I must have been wrong to pray for that. Or I must not have prayed hard enough. People will think I’m a fool to have prayed for something so boldly, only to see God not answer.
It’s all about me! I want the glory for God’s answered prayer. SO not biblical! Right?
However, when I take the step of faith to pray boldly, I am putting myself into the Lord’s hands. I know His answer is beyond my power to provide and my faith is grown by leaps and bounds when I see His answer. Yes, even when His answer is not what I asked for!
One of my very favorite verses, in fact the theme verse for Throne of Grace, is Hebrews 4:16. It says,
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
There is humility there – we are approaching the throne of the King. There is boldness – it says “with confidence”. There is expectation that we will receive the mercy, grace, and help we need. That verse tells me that the Almighty God bends His ear to stop and hear the weak, whispered, jumbled, sometimes half-awake prayers of little ol’ me and little ol’ you!
So even when God’s answer to my bold prayer does not come as I hoped or when I hoped, no prayer is wasted, because God never wastes our faith. There are some answers that we may never see this side of Heaven, but each prayer is heard and each prayer is working in us to build our faith and our relationship with Jesus.
In fact, Revelation 8 tells us that one day each and every prayer of the saints, (that’s us, God’s people) will be poured out on the altar of the Lord. It’s a beautiful picture of the value of our prayers to the Lord! Our prayer today could be answered tomorrow, 5 months from now, or several generations down the road! Isaiah 65:24 says, “Before they call, I will answer.” Before we even pray them, our prayers are answered. We just have to wait in God’s timing to see the results.
If these posts the last two days have resonated in your heart, I highly recommend reading Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. You can find the book HERE. It has been a life-changing book for me (Just in case you are wondering…I get no referral fee!) and I’m confident it will ignite a bigger passion in you too!
Maybe it is time for you to rethink some of your prayers, too. Take a prayer you utter frequently and ask the Lord to show you how you can make it bolder. How can you make that prayer more FAITH-FILLED and more GLORIFYING TO GOD when He answers?
Now, leave us a comment and share your prayer. Let us join you in asking the God of the Universe to bend His ear and stop the sun!