“On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, ‘Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies.” — Joshua 10:12-13
During World War II, a missionary family lived near a place where the Japanese tortured and killed their captives. The family was often awakened by the screams of the tormented.
Twice, the missionary was taken captive and released unharmed. The third time the officer said to the missionary’s wife, “He has been returned to you two times—don’t think he will be spared a third time. This time he dies.”
After she had put her five children to bed, the wife began a prayer vigil. At four o’clock, she awoke her family to join her, saying, “The burden has become so heavy I cannot bear it alone.” A short while later, they heard footsteps—ones she recognized as those of her husband!
Safely inside their home, he told her what had happened. He had been the last in a row of ten men. A Japanese soldier had gone down the row, slashing off the head of each man with a sword. Just as he raised his sword to kill the missionary, the officer shouted, “Stop!” Then he roared to the missionary, “Go home. Quick, get out of here!” He pushed the missionary past the guard and toward the gate. “I looked at my watch,” the missionary said. “It was 4am.”
Nothing impacts the impossible more than prayer. Prayer is invading the impossible. It is leaving the room of the natural, walking through the door of the spiritual and enjoying the room of the unexplainable.
In our day Joshua would be ridiculed to scorn for asking God to stop the sun. He would be criticized for what many would call theological stupidity. Many would say, “The gall of that man to assume God would consider such a capricious request.”
God stopped the sun!
We are living in such a day of opportunity! God is working…and waiting on us to invade the impossible. Are you praying risky prayers? Would your prayer life and faith be described as outlandish?
When I consider what Joshua asked for, I blush. I am so embarrassed that I pray such anemic prayers. God, deliver me from the pitiful and the pathetic and stir my heart to pray the powerful and the impossible!