Here’s The Short Version for everyone searching “Sun Stand Still Prayer, biblical?”
1. The Story is IN the bible, but never used as a model for prayer.
2. Yes, we need to pray more effectively/honestly.
3. Furtick Calls Jesus’ Prayer model He gives to believers, “dumb.” (Chapter 14 pp. 149-153)
4. Steven Furtick also states, “The only people who are completely sure they’ve heard from God are either clinically insane or under the influence of hallucinogens.” (page 69, titled “55 Percent.)
The truth is, We don’t need Purpose Driven churches – we need GOSPEL driven churches.
We don’t need to pray Sun Stand Still prayers, we need to earnestly pray FERVENT prayers, which are effective.
We do not need Audacious Faith, we need Mustard Seed faith.
I hope and pray that all church leaders would humbly and honestly sit down and penetratively investigate all extrabiblical texts so as to confirm they line up with God’s word before they ever invest their precious time producing sermon series and bible studies based on A book rather than THE book.
If you follow evangelical trends that make their way through many churches across America – and depending on how long you have been around – you may recall books like, The Purpose Driven Life, The Prayer of Jabez, Experiencing God, Wild At Heart, and Your Best Life Now. More recently we have some churches jumping on the wagon with the likes of Ed Young jr.’s “Sexperiment,” Mark Driscoll’s “The Peasant Princess,” and “Real Marriage” (all of which are dripping with irreverence and inelegantly composed misinterpretations of scripture- see Rape of Solomon’s Song), and now…………..
Written by Mega-Multi-Site Church Pastor, Steven Furtick.
In his book, Sun Stand Still, Furtick presses the idea that we need to have “Audacious Faith,” so as to pray prayers like Joshua did when he asked God to have the Sun Stand Still so he could defeat his enemies.
Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has declared Joel Osteen is Impacting Houston for God. In a sermon he preached for a communion service at his church in NC, Furtick said he was pulling most of it from a sermon he heard from, (as he put it) “the best preacher alive,” T.D. Jakes, and that he had never been moved so much before by any sermon.
Furtick’s church has also been named by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in the nation.
Outreach Magazine released these findings:
● Top 5 Fastest-Growing Churches (Rankings factor both numerical and percentage gain.)
1. Richmond Outreach Center, Richmond, Va., +2,530 (83%)
2. Elevation Church, Charlotte, N.C., +2,744 (48%)
3. Real Life Church, Valencia, Calif., +1,763 (111%)
4. The Potter’s House of Denver, Denver, Colo., +1,800 (51%)
5. Christ’s Church of the Valley, Peoria, Ariz., +4,049 (29%)
There is no doubt that Furtick has a great core team of volunteers and staff and that is the driving force behind the success of his churches. But as for Sun Stand Still being a “move of God,” it’s not likely. Take an obscure passage out of the old testament, put a driving passion behind it, and you simply have something that believers can get excited about.
Check out the story for yourself:
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
Whether God froze time, stopped the earth on it’s axis, or slowed time down, is all irrelevant. GOD DID IT! Regardless of the means, the bible is truth and we can firmly believe this happened.
POINT OF CONTENTION
Should we model our prayer lives after this passage and thus pray “Sun Stand Still Prayers,” over areas of our lives, as Steven says?
This so-called “move of God,” is nothing new. It’s just been repackaged.
You may remember about 6 years ago, a prosperity driven book called, the prayer of Jabez.
Amazon.com describes the book like this…
“Readers of Dr. Bruce Wilkinson’s bestseller, learned how an audacious, four-part prayer could release God’s miraculous power in their lives.”
The only thing audacious about these books is that the authors had the audacity to write them and claim they are a “move of God.”
While Steven does touch on a much-needed topic when it comes to honestly praying real and effective prayers as opposed to “holy sounding” prayers, we are never called to be audacious in our faith or to “pray sun stand still prayers” in the bible. This is never given as a model in scripture…anywhere. Lets look at the verse following the miracle of the sun and moon standing still…
Never has there been a day like it SINCE. Nor is this ever modeled as a way to pray. So if the word doesn’t give us a model for audacious faith, how then are we to obtain such a life changing hope?
GOOD NEWS! In his book, Sun Stand Still, Furtick does give us the Steven Furtick formula for Audacious Faith:
“obviously, praying audacious prayers and walking in bold faith takes confidence. But healthy confidence is born out of a genuine humility. The two must work in Tandem. Confidence without humility is arrogance. Humility without confidence is weakness. Confidence and humility are both biblical and they’re equally essential to a life of true faith… Complete confidence in the competency of Christ matched with sincere humility. This is the only formula for authentic, audacious faith.”
(chapter 6, pp. 66-67)
I find it odd that he gives this description on humility and that without it, confidence is simply arrogance when in Furtick’s own life, he has publicly produced arrogant things like, “Hey Haters”, and the screen capture of his Twitter is quite the opposite of humbleness.
PAGE 69 – BLATANT CONFESSION
Sometimes I stand up in front of my church, share a logic-defying vision, and wrap it with a bodacious assertion: ”I know I’ve heard from God about this.” Maybe I should be more precise. When I say that, what I mean is, “I’m as sure as I can be right now that I’ve heard from God about this.” But I’m never completely sure. The only people who are completely sure they’ve heard from God are either clinically insane or under the influence of hallucinogens. On a good day, I’m 55 percent sure. And that’s enough certainty to take the next step.”
I personally hope my own Pastor is more than 55% sure that he has heard from the Lord when he brings “logic defying visions” to the congregation as being from God.
As for hearing from God, Jesus said,
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (john 10:27)
Steven Furtick on “Dumb” prayers.
“when I started [prayers] out with, ‘God, if it be Thy will… It made whatever I prayed about next feel safer. So, actually it was a cop-out. What I was really praying was, God, I’m asking You to do this, but I’m not really expecting that you will. So just in case you don’t, let me acknowledge up front that you might not.”
(Chapter 14 pp. 149-153)
This type of prayer seems oddly familiar… The letters are RED in my bible.
If you recall, the disciples said, “Lord, TEACH us to pray.”
Here’s our model from the one we’re talking to:
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, YOUR WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven.”
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
This was not an Audacious prayer, this was an Earnest prayer. I love the way He ends it… “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” For His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Even CHRIST submitted to His Father’s will above His own.
Maybe Jesus didn’t realize He was praying a “cop-out prayer,” or perhaps Furtick just has more Faith than Jesus did. I don’t know.
But what I do know is the bible never calls us to have Audacious Faith. Jesus did say,
“if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20)
But of course, faith that can move mountains but lacks love, is nothing. Faith is always prefaced by love.
Nothing about audacious faith, but faith of a Mustard Seed. Last time I looked at a mustard seed, there wasn’t anything audacious about it.
This is how the bible says pray: Fervently. Earnestly.