04/06/21 Pray and Act

READING: Joshua 7-9, Luke 6:37-7:17 

Some years ago, I wrote a chapter in a book called, Praying at the Crossroads. My focus was Joshua’s prayer in chapter 7 after Achan had sinned and the people had been routed at Ai. Joshua, not knowing why the Israelite army had lost the battle, hit his knees before God. Here’s what I wrote:

Joshua likely did not expect God’s response to his intercession on behalf of the people. “Stand up!” God said, “Why have you fallen facedown?” (Josh. 7:10). In essence, God said, “You’ve prayed enough. There’s something you need to do.” Sin was in the camp, and Joshua had some tough work to carry out. It was time to confront the sinners. . . . 

Joshua’s praying was not wrong, but only praying would not resolve the issue. Nothing short of confrontation and discipline would be sufficient. In fact, praying may have been the easiest part of this task. Talking to God (even questioning God like Joshua did) was probably easier than calling out Achan and leading the people to judge him and his family through burning. The prayer closet may have seemed safer than the judgment hall, but Joshua’s brief conversation with God necessitated a more difficult conversation with Achan.  

Prayer is always important, but sometimes we need to pray briefly and act quickly. We need God’s wisdom to determine what those times are. 

PRAYER: “God, grant me this kind of wisdom today.”

DAILY ACTION STEP:  Pray without ceasing today, but also act when you know you need to act.     

TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 10-12, Luke 7:18-50

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