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Day 4: Sun Stand Still

A rare solar eclipse recently crossed the United States, with some of the best viewing about six hours’ drive north of me. You normally don’t think about how quickly the moon moves, but if you watched TV footage, it raced across the entire continent in just hours. Total viewing time for the complete blackout? Less than three minutes.

But while you were watching it, it seemed like everything just stopped for a few minutes, and suddenly it was night.

One of the greatest miracles of the Old Testament occurred when the opposite happened: it wasn’t that the moon seemed to stand still, the sun itself stopped in the sky for an entire day.

Why? Because one man of God dared to pray a very specific, bold prayer. We just spent five days exploring how humble prayers are powerful, so when you read about Joshua telling the sun to stand still, it may seem shockingly bold, even arrogant. But let me tell you why it wasn’t arrogant of Joshua to pray this way:

He’d heard from God.

God clearly tells Joshua that He has given their enemies into hands, so when the day is drawing to a close without the fulfillment of God’s word to His people, Joshua has the faith to pray one amazingly bold prayer: “Sun, stand still!”

Joshua’s prayer is a great example of the next element of powerful prayers we’ll look at: it’s Specific (remember, HSPE—Humble, Specific, Persistent, and Expectant).

Jesus has given us authority through His name, but what good is His authority if we don’t apply it? Humble, specific prayers are powerful because when we tap into the heart of God on a certain matter and agree with Him in prayer, it can change the course of the heavens—or our hearts.

So what does God want you pray boldly and specifically about? Salvation for a loved one far from God? Sickness in your body? A know-it-all teenager headed for a big crash? Make it your business to learn God’s Word on these matters—and then ask Him. Boldly!