Thursday, March 22, 2007

When Prayer Is Out of Place

For as long as I can remember, I have been struck by Joshua 7:10 where the Lord says to Joshua, "Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?" This rather sharp rebuke comes at the end of a long prayer where Joshua is crying out before the Lord after Israel's defeat at the hands of army of Ai. He prays a pretty good prayer, from my perspective. But it would seem that the Lord wasn't of the same mind because He commands Joshua to get off of his face and get doing something. The reason for the defeat was obvious; there was sin in the camp and the appropriate action was not crying out to God but dealing with the problem.

This verse makes me nervous, I confess, because, by nature, I tend to be more action-oriented than prayer-oriented. I have had to work hard to take issues to the Lord before moving ahead. But this verse reminds us that there are certain things that we don't need to pray about.

One of them is if we should stand together with our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are instructed in the Word of God to do so. We don't need to pray about being obedient; that is a given. As God's people, we can only ask our Father how we should help our persecuted family members, not if we should. As members of one body, we must join in the persecution of others and share in their lives.

Perhaps the Lord is saying to you today that it is time to get up and do something. The only question left is, "What exactly, Lord, would you have me to do?"

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