Sometimes the messages God gives me come from the most unexpected places.
Yesterday, God laid on my heart words about prayer. I’m not even studying on prayer, so this seemed to come out of left field. Today, I was surprised yet again as I was preparing for my Sunday evening class in the book of Joshua. In the midst of battles, in the midst of utter chaos, is a short but sweet message regarding prayer. It is not hidden but can be easily overlooked (I did actually miss it the first time I read it).
In Joshua 10, we find that 5 kings have joined together to attack Gibeon because rather than stand up and fight the Israelites, the Gideons had surrendered (or rather tricked Israel into an alliance/slavery). When Gideon realizes they are under attack, they quickly call on Israel for help.
And Israel comes to their aid…quickly.
Here’s the part I almost missed completely:
Joshua 10:12-14: Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon;
And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
And the moon stopped,
Till the people had revenge
Upon their enemies.
Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
Not only did Joshua respond to Gibeon’s cries for help by sending out warriors, he also offers up his prayers.
He stands in the gap for Gibeon and the Israelite warriors.
Joshua has been assured of the victory, but he also knows the battle is going to be a long, hard one. In praying for the sun to stand still, he is simply asking for more time for the Israelites to annihilate their opponents and for God to demonstrate His greatness.
Above is what I see in the physical realm of things. Now, I would like to look at this situation with spiritual eyes.
Joshua and his warrior stand in the gap for Gibeon through battle and prayer.
Joshua knows Gibeon is weak and does not posses the strength, knowledge, or abilities to stand against 5 kings and their armies.
This is symbolic of our spiritual lives. Think about it. Israel has just defeated Jericho and Ai and now 5 kings have attacked Gibeon to punish them for their surrender and to try to block Israel’s advances. Compare that to what happens when we start to move and do things for Christ.
I don’t know about you, but when I start to move, so does Satan, and I’m attacked, attacked, attacked. Similarly, a new Christian is a lot more vulnerable to the attacks of Satan, and as “seasoned” Christians it is up to us to stand in the gap for them, just as Joshua and the Israelites did with Gideon.
We can do this through discipleship and intercessory prayer (in which we pray for and on behalf of our family in Christ).
It is not just new believers that need our prayers. Even seasoned Christians can get overwhelmed, discouraged, and beat down. I find that one of the greatest things about a church family, is knowing their is always someone there holding up your hands when you can’t find the strength to do it yourself.
Today, I encourage us all to lift up our brothers and sisters in prayer. Let us ask God to stop the moon to give our fellow believers time to conquer their enemies. Nothing is impossible with God and it all starts with prayer.
Be blessed and be a blessing,