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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel”—Joshua 10:12 (NKJV)
It’s the thick of battle. Joshua is leading the fighting forces of Israel against the armies of the five Amorite kings. God is giving Israel an overwhelming victory over their enemies. We’re even told that the battle is a “rout” (Joshua 10:10)!
Now, in the heat of the moment, amidst the dust and fog of war, Joshua does something that is somewhat unexpected yet extremely instructive . . . he prays! That’s exactly what’s meant in the passage above when we’re told that “Joshua spoke to the Lord.”
What makes this unexpected? Well, take a look at your own life for moment. All of us have had days that are especially challenging. We wake up and run the shower, only to discover the water heater is broken. We head off too work only to find we have a flat tire. After spending several minutes changing the flat we end up cutting corners on the road to make up time. But our carelessness leads to a collision, a ticket, and our employer is irate because we’re late.
If you’re anything like me, in battle-testing times like this, my focus can shift away from God. It really doesn’t take much before the cares of this world have me preoccupied and the things of God fade into the background . . . including prayer.
That’s our natural bent as human beings, which is why we need to mark well how Joshua stopped mid-battle to talk to the Lord! It wasn’t a busted water heater, flat tire, or fender bender but a life or death situation unfolding before him. Yet that didn’t prevent him from pressing pause on the war and calling out to the Lord: “’Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies” (Joshua 10:12-13 NKJV).
God heard and answered Joshua’s prayer, and what a prayer it was! The natural order stopped because one man stopped and prayed. And remember the context of the prayer. It came at a time when Joshua could have been focusing on so many other things—but he chose to focus on God instead.
Now, I’m not saying we should pray for the sun and moon to stand still. But I do believe this shows us life’s battles must not keep us from standing still and calling out to our God. Rather than being barriers to prayer, let’s allow the various battles of life to serve as catalysts for prayer.
DIG: What did Joshua do in the heat of battle?
DISCOVER: How is this instructive for us?
DO: Consider practical steps you can take to direct your focus on God and prayer during your battles
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.