At first glance, it all looks so holy. Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their robes, put dust on
their heads, and fell on their faces before the Ark of the Lord. They remained there until evening.
It was the picture of piety.
Then Joshua opened his mouth and the truth was revealed. He wasn’t praying. There was no surrender.
Joshua was worrying before the Ark of the Lord.
7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?” Joshua 7:7-9
Wow. That escalated. “They will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth.” Talk about going to the worst case scenario.
I am so convicted by this. How many times have I lay prostrate before the Almighty One and it looked like prayer, maybe it even sounded a bit like prayer, but it wasn’t prayer at all? I was simply imagining worst case scenarios before the throne of the King.
Prayer must begin with the quiet trust that our Father in the heavens is good, loving, and kind. The seeds of prayer are sown in the sure hope that despite all we see, He is more than able to save.
One of my favorite Oswald Chambers quotes talks about how the throne room of God is strewn with the broken hopes and dreams of His children. Chambers says
“Only one in a thousand sits down in the midst of it all and says- I will watch my Father mend this.”
May I be the one in a thousand today…