Skip to main content

God Listened

Joshua 10:13b-14
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 human being.

Our Youth Group recently discussed this section of Joshua.  The leader of the Israelite people had just prayed for God to stop the Sun and Moon so that they could win a war.  Their enemies were on the run but only because they had been caught by surprise.  If they had been given time to regroup they could have formed a large enough army to destroy the Israelites as well as their allies, the Gibeonites, in one fell swoop. Joshua and the Israelites were exhausted from marching all night and fighting all day, but instead of taking a break, he prayed for the ability to keep fighting.  A lesson we could all use when we are feeling weary.  

You may expect our conversation would focus on that, or the fact that Joshua was willing to ask for something so bold...when was the last time you prayed for something that broke the laws of physics?  

Instead we focused on one little easy to miss phrase: "...the Lord listened to a human being." In the original language the verb translated as "listened" means "obeyed".  It is only used with God as the subject 3 times in scriptures.  All three times are in response to prayers of selfless desperation.  When we pray for others in desperation, God listens in a special way.  

From this small passage we can look at 3 points on prayer:
1.) Pray for the ability to keep going, God's abundance may surprise you.
2.) Pray for the unreasonable and illogical, God is not limited by our minds.
3.) Pray for others with deep desperation, God will "listen"!

God, help us to grow our prayer lives.  Help us to remember to ask for you when we are weary.  Give us the faith to pray for the unbelievable.  Most of all, soften our hearts so that we may pray for others with desperation. Amen  


Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   " this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Deeper Discipleship

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is Mark 10:17-22.  A wealthy man approaches Jesus with great respect and asks what he must do to have the abundant life Jesus has been preaching about.  Jesus reminds him of the commandments, but the man claims to have followed them since childhood.  Jesus looks him in the eye and something changes.  Mark tells us that Jesus loved him in this moment, so he invites him to sell all of his belongings, and follow him.  He invites him to become a disciple.  All of the other disciples had to do the same thing in order to follow Jesus.  They dropped their nets, left their family, and followed Jesus.  In this case, the man could not do it.  The scriptures tell us that he had a lot of wealth, a lot he was unwilling to let go of.  He left that encounter disappointed, because the cost of discipleship was too great.  I notice that Jesus starts with the law as the answer to the question, almost giving a basic book answer.  It is only after