WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 16, 2023
TOPIC: AN UNPRECEDENTED ANSWER TO PRAYER
BY T. O. BANSO
“And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel” (Joshua 10:14 New King James Version).
God answers prayers. Sometimes the answers do not come at the expected time. The answers may not even come in the way we have asked in our prayers. Sometimes we don’t get what we ask from God. This is not because those things are impossible for Him to do. The Bible says with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). It also says all things are possible to Him who believes (Mark 10:2). But there are other factors in addition to lack of faith that can deny us the expected answer from God.
For example, wrong motives can deny us an answer from God. James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (New King James Version). That’s talking about wrong motives. The New International Version renders the verse thus: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
The will of God is another condition for answered prayer. Our request must agree with the will of God. 1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (New King James Version). In other words, God will not grant a request that is contrary to His will even when there is nothing impossible for Him to do.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, while Jesus was praying, He said in Mark 14:36, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (New King James Version). God didn’t grant that request because it was His will for Jesus to drink that cup of suffering on the cross and die for our sins. If He had granted the request, the work of redemption, which Jesus came to the earth for, would have been aborted.
Having said these, several people have testimonies of answers to prayers to share. But there could be some specific one they describe as outstanding either in the speed of the manifestation of answers or the magnitude or dimensions of the answers. Nevertheless, there is no small miracle of God. All the answers to prayer deserve our thanksgiving. But some answers to prayer are unforgettable.
One such answer to prayer is recorded in Joshua 10. The five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon went up with their armies to fight against Gibeon because it had made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel (verses 3-5).
When Gibeon cried to Joshua, he led the people of war to fight these kings and their armies and the Israelites killed many of them just as God had assured Joshua of victory. “And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the LORD cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword” (Joshua 10:11 New King James Version).
As the enemies were being killed, Joshua spoke to the LORD in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon” (verse 12 New King James Version). That was not a long prayer. He decreed by faith and God listened to Joshua’s voice. He decreed a thing and it was established for him, as Job 22:28a says.
Jesus says if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20). He also says in Matthew 21:21b that if you have faith and do not doubt and say to this mountain to be removed and be cast into the sea, it will be done. Mark 11:23 puts it this way: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (New King James Version).
Joshua commanded the sun to stand still over Gibeon, and the moon, in the Valley of Aijalon, and it was so. The sun stood still, and the moon stopped until the people had avenged themselves on their enemies. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. In other words, the day was prolonged. It was a unique miracle.
This was an unprecedented answer to prayer. Verse 14 says, “And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel” (New King James Version). The International Version says, “There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!” This was very unique. There is no similar record in the Bible. God extended the day for the Israelites to defeat their enemies.
The five kings were blocked inside the cave they had gone to hide and after the Israelites had killed all their enemies, they brought them out of the caves. “So it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, ‘Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ And they drew near and put their feet on their necks. Then Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight’” (Joshua 10:24-25 New King James Version).
Joshua killed these kings and hanged them on five trees until evening. When the sun was going down, Joshua commanded his men to take them down from the trees, and they did so. They cast them into the cave where they had been hidden and laid large stones against the cave’s mouth.
The Lord shall give you overwhelming victory. You will have enough time to complete your victory in Jesus’ name. Your victory shall not be aborted. It shall be total in Jesus’ name. Whatever the cry of your heart to God this season, I pray that God will answer you at the right time. Isaiah 65:24 says, “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (New King James Version). You will have such an experience in your life this season in Jesus’ name. Your decrees shall be established for you.
That day God fought for the Israelites. Joshua also took other cities and killed their kings (Joshua 10:28-41). Verse 42 says, “All these kings and their land Joshua took at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel” (New King James Version).
Exodus 14:14 says the LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Similarly, Deuteronomy 1:30 also says, “The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes” (New King James Version). This scripture was fulfilled in the war against these five kings.
God will go before you, too, and fight for you. If God is fighting for someone, it’s useless fighting him. The five kings had no solution to the hailstones which they never prepared for. It was unheard of. It was beyond the control of man. God did what no man could do just as He did against the Egyptians before the Israelites were allowed to leave. He brought ten plagues upon the land of Egypt and Pharaoh had no option but to release them.
Joshua told the Israelites in Joshua 23:3, “You have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the LORD your God is He who has fought for you” (New King James Version). God will fight for you. If He needs to use nature, He will do so. If He needs to use your enemies against each other or one another, He will do it. He will give you an unprecedented answer to prayer. Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, as I continue to pray, give me timely answers to my prayers. Holy Spirit, help to decree what God shall establish for me. Father, give Your children unprecedented answers to prayer. Let them have unforgettable testimonies of answers to prayers. I pray for renewal of strength and encouragement for those who are weary in praying; give them unprecedented miracles that will boost their faith in You.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947