“On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!” (Joshua 10:12-14)
Prayer helps us meet life’s impossible tasks. Joshua sought and received a miracle as he led God’s people to accomplish His mission. Faith brings great accomplishments, but the accomplishments are always of God, not of man. Joshua’s prayer was within God’s will, not of his own.
The God of election fights to preserve and protect those elected to carry out His purposes. Only God could command the sun so that Joshua and the Israelites could defeat the Amorites. In so doing He confirmed the power He had shown and the salvation He provided in the Exodus. Israel knew election as the continuing experience of God’s deliverance rather than as a doctrine to be learned and defended.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Joshua called out to You in humble, yet confident prayer, as he was following Your will. Abba, let us set aside our wills and allow You to work through us, to accomplish Your will. Let our words be Your Words, and let our actions be Your actions, and let Your will be done in all things. It is in this way, that our obedience to You and Your will, changes us from simple people into Your obedient servants. It is this we pray in Jesus holy name. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“We need to seek God Himself more than His gifts.”
“There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, ‘The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.’ So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” (Ezra 8:21-23)
The Persian rulers generously allowed free religious practice to subject peoples. Ezra wanted to demonstrate his faith in the uniqueness of Israel’s God. Ravel in that day was unsafe, but Ezra declared that the hand of Israel’s God was on all. Their safety depended not on military help but on God. Humble prayer and fasting prepared the people for the trip. God answered by providing safety during the trip. Answers to prayer often come through successful completion of actions for which we prayed.
“Prayer, Answer”: (2nd Corinthians 12:8-9)
This is one of the rare cases in the Bible where God explains an answer of “no” to a prayer. God’s glory is not shown in human strength. Paul had such impressive struggles that God’s glory was best demonstrated by working through the unexpected—human weakness. God’s “no’s” work to use us better to accomplish His perfect purposes..
Second Thought of the Day:
“So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of he people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.’” (John 11:41-42)
Jesus’ words imply a pray previously made, probably during the four day wait prior to the journey to Bethany (verses 6, 17). Here Jesus acknowledged the Father as His source of healing power.
Answered prayer calls forth thanks. Believes need never doubt. God hears and responds to prayer. In Mark 7:34, we are reminded that Jesus looked up to heaven and sighed a prayer as He healed a man. Healing through prayer is always a possibility with God, and prayer does not have to be audible. He Holy Spirit speaks for us, even when we cannot utter a word.