September 21, 2009

Livin' On A Prayer

On the day the Lord gave the Armorites 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 . . .

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been 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

I can't help but feel astonished/overwhelmed by this passage.

First of all, this happens right after the hailstone episode . . . God has already done astonishing things for Joshua and Israel in their battle. I mean, more than could have been expected, imagined or asked for (at least in my mind)!

And now Joshua is really stepping the line with his prayer. He doesn't meekly ask or suggest, it sounds like he is commanding that the planets and stars freeze in their tracks.

I mean, where did he even get the idea to ask for this? He was pretty creative . . . and daring.

And God honors this audacious request. It actually happens . . . Joshua gets the light of the sun and moon for almost another day.

I don't think I really have words to capture how I feel about this event. I just picture the scene in my head, and my jaw drops. God surprises me and really blows my mind - a lot.

Could I, in Joshua's shoes, have done the same thing? Do I have the same confidence or boldness when I come before God with my struggles and requests?

Better yet - do I expect great things from God? Or are my prayers simply mediocre, small, meek, limited? Are we praying halfheartedly? Do we doubt that He is able? Do we really trust and believe that He will do more than we can ask for or imagine?

Are we limiting His power by praying too small? What parts of our lives are we holding onto, not surrendering to Him in prayer?

How can we pray like Joshua? What does that even look like?

Maybe it's healing for the obliterated spirit. Maybe it's the skeptic gaining the ability to trust. Maybe it's the atheist seeking their Creator. Maybe it's employment in this economy. Maybe it's turning a city upside-down. Maybe it's having our eyes opened for the first time.

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