The Prayer That Stopped the Sun
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.
Today’s Bible reading: Joshua 10:1–14
Right here on Day 1, I’m going to throw out a challenge to you: If you’re not daring to believe God for the impossible, you’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life. And further still, if the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God. You should be living by audacious faith every day. Audacity is not just for “elite Christians.” It’s intended for every believer. So today we’re beginning a spiritual journey toward trusting God for what seems impossible. I’m thrilled to think about what it’s going to do for our lives and our world.
A story from the life of Joshua serves as our template for audacious faith.
The Israelites unleash a surprise attack on the Amorites, and right from the beginning the battle goes well. But as the sun sinks toward the horizon, General Joshua faces a decision. The victory isn’t complete, and once it gets dark, the rest of the Amorites will slip away. Joshua sizes up the situation and delivers one of the most gloriously unorthodox prayers in the Bible. He has the audacity to ask God to make the sun stop in the sky. To freeze time on behalf of His people.
And God gives Joshua exactly what he asked for.
With everything in me, I believe God still desires to make the sun stand still over the life of every believer. Obviously, not in the unique way He did for Joshua, but in ways that are equally spectacular (although not always quite as dramatic), God is perfectly willing to perform the impossible in our everyday lives. If we have the audacity to ask.
RT God is ready to act if we will be bold enough to ask, not just for a good day or a better life, but for the impossible.
I tried this one time.
My wife and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, with seven other families. We set a goal of reaching over one thousand people in our first year of ministry. Since the average church size in America is fewer than ninety, I guess we were overshooting a bit. But we wanted to see God accomplish something so exponentially amazing that it would leave no doubt who deserved the credit.
So we shamelessly asked God to exceed our wildest dreams. The story of our church is still being written. But here’s what I can tell you now. After seven years of ministry, our church has grown to more than twelve thousand people in regular attendance. Since our opening day, thousands of people have publicly professed faith in Christ.
Sometimes when we consider the rate at which God has multiplied this ministry, we feel like we’re living in a warp-speed dream world. But the story is real. We are living in the middle of a move of God.
Is there something that is seemingly impossible that you’d like to see God do through you? Maybe God has already been working in your spirit, planting a desire, sparking ideas about the much bigger things He wants to accomplish.
There’s nothing our world needs more desperately today—in individuals, families, businesses, churches, and communities—than God’s saving, supernatural acts. And God is ready to act if we will be bold enough to ask, not just for a good day or a better life, but for the impossible and then will step forward to act in audacious faith.
prayer focus: Over the next forty days, pray for God to build audacious faith within you and to show you where He wants you to apply it.
Excerpted from Sun Stand Still Devotional by Steven Furtick. Copyright © 2013 by Steven Furtick. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.