I’m convinced that many of us have missed answers to prayer because the answers seemed “too practical” or required “too much work” from us. Consider the well-known example of the defeat of the city of Jericho as recorded in the Bible.
Jericho was a massive fortress. Archeologists tell us that the city encompassed over eight acres, and was surrounded by walls which were 30-feet tall and 20-feet wide. Joshua was a brilliant military strategist who up to this point had never suffered a defeat. He asks God for help in defeating this fortress, and God tells him, “March!”
That’s it. Not pray, pray, and pray some more. Not go on a 40-day fast. Make no mistake, the Israelites had been in a period of renewed passion and prayer. As they entered Canaan, they sought God, renewed their vow to serve Him alone, and celebrated the Passover just days before encountering Jericho.
Sometimes our prayers have to have feet.
Sort of like abolitionist Frederick Douglass who said, “Praying for freedom never did me any good til I started praying with my feet.”
- We need to pray for the salvation of our loved ones, and talk to them about Christ.
- We need to pray for God to open the door for employment, and mail the resume.
- We need to pray for God’s help on a test, and study hard.
- We need to pray, and we need to march.
I love the verb tense in this story! God told Joshua, “I have delivered Jericho into your hands” (Joshua 6:2). Later on, after the Israelites completed their 13th hike around Jericho, Joshua said, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city” (v. 16).
If you are praying for something that is in alignment with God’s Word, then God has given you your Jericho. But you may not see the walls come tumbling down until you march. Keep praying, keep marching, keep circling it in prayer, and watch those walls crumble!