“The Big Prayer”
Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel. Josh 10:12-14 (NASB)
I have treasured this episode in the life of Joshua, more than any other. This is the moment when his faith was full. It’s the day when he asked for, and expected big things from God. In the midst of battle, Joshua asked that God would pause the natural order of the universe for him and for the nation that he was leading.
Let’s back up, and look at how Joshua’s day started… In verses 6 and 7 we see that Joshua was in Gilgal. This was Joshua’s starting place, it was a very symbolic place. It was the place of brokenness, it was the place of waiting, it was the place where God had conquered the nation. (Thanks, Dr. Redpath) (See Joshua 5, to understand Gilgal)
Next, we see that the Lord spoke to Joshua about this specific battle. Now, when I read that “the Lord spoke to Joshua,” I read that Joshua was listening, perhaps praying. (All such occurrences are highlighted in this book in my bible) This is important, because this is when God gave him direction, this direction from the Lord gives confidence.
So, when Joshua, in the midst of this battle against the five kings of the Amorites, prays this prayer, it isn’t a “hail mary prayer.” It is a prayer of faith,… great faith!
Joshua can pray this prayer in this way because he began properly. He began in humility, he began in prayer, and he engaged in the battle knowing that this was the Lord’s will for him this day.
How many days might see greater victories in our lives if we would but seek the Lord in the morning? If we would humbly ask direction? He is not always going to speak to us the way that He spoke to Joshua on this day, but if we seek Him, perhaps He will give us a good word for the battle.
On the miracle itself… many people rush to discount the idea that the sun and moon actually stood still still, or slowed down that day at the request of a man. My question to any skeptic is simply why? If you think this is impossible, your God, and your prayers, are too small. This is what God does for His children that ask. Not all the time, but sometimes He does indeed, alter the natural order of things. Just for us. Just for those who ask in faith with right motives. James 4:2,3
Let your prayers be big prayers.