According to tradition, it was on this day that Joshua commanded the sun to be still upon Gibeon.
Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies. (Joshua 10:12)
Think about that. Having the faith to tell the sun and moon to stand still and expecting it to happen. Even more amazing is the fact that God honored that prayer. We are amazed at this kind of event, and yet, we are told that if we have faith, even the size of a mustard seed, things such as this can happen. According to Christ, faith can move mountains.
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:21-22)
James tells us that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much but – moving mountains? Having the sun to stand still and the moon to stand still? That is going to take a considerable amount of faith to believe for those things. So in those times that we pray for somewhat smaller things and feel that our prayers go unanswered, what does that do to our faith?
There’s another component of this that we need to consider and that is this: when we pray, it’s very important that we pray according to God’s will and not our own. If it seems that some of our prayers go unanswered, maybe it’s because we want them answered our way or on our terms. Perhaps Joshua said what he did, in faith, knowing that God would honor it because what he was praying for was in accordance with God’s will. Messiah went about doing the Father’s will and, when He prayed, the Father heard and honored what the Messiah asked.
Faith is not some ethereal, abstract concept. Evidence of faith is action; hearing what God says and then doing what God says. And when we’re performing His will, that is evidence that we have faith. When we act righteously and according to His will, I believe that’s when we will see our prayers being answered and being honored by heaven.
So, if we want our prayers to be honored, we must live a life which grants us access to a line of communication with heaven that allows our prayers to be heard, honored and answered.