A Cold Day of Sightseeing
As we made our way from the tour bus up to the top of the hill just outside Jerusalem, the wind blew and sleet began falling. It was a bitterly cold day to be out sightseeing in Israel, but when you’ve traveled 6,000 miles and paid as much money as we did, we were not planning to miss out on any moment.
And what a moment that turned out to be. Our illustrious guide, Ilan, told of how Joshua had stood right in that very area and asked the Lord to make the sun and moon stand still so that he could have time to attack and defeat the enemy with whom the Israelites were engaged in battle. It was a bold prayer that Joshua prayed.
Ilan then told us about one of his favorite moments on that spot when pastor Mark Batterson challenged the group he had brought to Israel to pray a bold prayer in that very same place that Joshua had prayed his bold prayer. Mark suggested they pray a bold prayer like Honi the Circle Maker prayed. And Ilan told us of a miracle that had taken place as a result of the bold prayers they had prayed that day.
It was at that moment, he turned to me… with sleet pelting us as we stood there shivering… and said, “Pastor Allen, lead us in a bold prayer.” A bold prayer? Me? Sometimes I’d like to think that I have pretty decent faith. But faith for bold prayers? Prayers like Joshua, Honi or Batterson?
But something rose up inside me that cold morning… a measure of faith… faith a little bigger than a grain of mustard seed… and I asked people to begin sharing what bold request they wanted us to bring before the Lord. Jokingly, one of the guys asked, “Could we pray that it would stop sleeting on us?” We all laughed.
And then we prayed.
We prayed bold prayers for healing and open doors of ministry. We prayed for restored relationships and the ability to overcome temptation. It was a powerful moment… maybe my favorite moment of that trip to Israel.
You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me!
Then, just before I concluded the prayer I said, “And Lord, it sure would be great if You could make it stop sleeting so that we can see the wonderful sites here that we came to see in order that we could grow closer to You. Amen!”
You would have had to have been there to experience it fully, but when we opened our eyes from that bold prayer, the sleet stopped, the clouds parted over the city of Jerusalem where we were headed next, and the sun shone through. Our jaws dropped. We looked at each other & just laughed.
The God who had stopped the sun & moon for Joshua at that same area had just answered our simple, bold prayer. And suddenly we understood that He could answer those other bold prayers we had just prayed.
Bold Prayer, Anyone?
For the rest of the trip, anytime we encountered a challenge, someone would say, “Pray a bold prayer.” We would ask, and God would answer. Some were seemingly small requests like asking for the internet wi-fi to work on the bus so that we could communicate with our loved ones back home… and before we said “amen” we were connected.
Our Own Bold Prayers
It so inspired Angela and me, that she created us a piece of wall art with clips on it where we could write bold prayers on slips of paper and hang them up where we could see them everyday. It says “Pray Bold Prayers” at the top and “Ephesians 3:20” at the bottom. In between are our current bold prayers.
Some are for us. Some are for others. All will take God working miraculously to see them accomplished. But the God who stopped the sun in its tracks… and stopped the sleet for sightseers… and made the wi-fi work for loved ones… is exceedingly abundantly able to do more than we could ever ask, think or imagine!
So, what bold prayer do you need to pray today? Is it something others might consider to be seemingly small? Or does it require a massive miracle? Don’t worry about how small your faith seems. Consider how big God is. And pray a bold prayer!