Sun Stand Still Prayers

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…………..

Sun Stand Still Book

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.

Elevation Church Sr. Pastor

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:

Joshua 10:12-13

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.

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. 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…

Joshua 10:14

14 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!

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.

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“55 Percent

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)
Statements like these made by Christians, but especially Pastors, who are charged with handling the word accurately (2 Tim. 2:15) should be red flags.  Discernment alarms should be going off in our souls that something’s fishy.  Anytime a Pastor’s statements and life don’t line up with the word of God, there is cause for caution and alarm.
This next part of Furtick’s book took my inward alarm system from Defcon 4 to Defcon 1:
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:

Matthew 6:9-10

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 again…

Luke 22:41-42

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.

James 5:17

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.

Matthew 9:38a

therefore pray earnestly
James 5:16
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Live Love.
Copyright 2013 BlogLiveLove. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent or permission.

6 thoughts on “Sun Stand Still Prayers

  1. Well said, man. Someone calling out Jesus’ prayers as ‘dumb’ prayers is false in my book. Drop it like it’s hot (because it’s not from God, that’s for sure)!

  2. Wow, Mike! I knew there was something wrong with this guy, and I didn’t go into as much research as you have in actually reading part of his book. I had the same exact gut feeling about Rick Warren with “The Purpose Driven Life” and dropped that book as soon as I felt it didn’t line up with scripture. I think I got to the 2nd day. “Crazy Love”, yeah I stopped reading that book a few chapters in because I felt Francis Chan was off on scripture too. Then there was “Life’s Healing Choices”. Another book that I felt took the beatitudes out of context, and the book was not based on solid scripture. I may be wrong here because I don’t know scripture like others do, but I got a bad feeling about it, and stopping reading the book. I would much rather learn from a teacher that teaches from the Word of God and not from a book someone has written. Ever since I got the chance to sit at the feet of Kay Arthur and really learn how to study God’s Word for myself, I don’t trust other “teachers” that tell me what they think.

    I watched a few of Furtick’s sermons on-line. I was amazed one time as he was speaking he said something and then said, “Wait, I said something very important and I didn’t see very many people write it down so I’m going to say it again so you can write it down.” He then paused and said, “I think…..” His “thought” had nothing to do with God’s Word, it was his thoughts and he felt it was important enough that everyone needed to write it down. This man needs lots of prayer. It really shows that there are many false teachers out there, and we must be diligent to do our own homework before we begin to follow one that could lead us astray.

    • Man, im glad to know I am not off my rocker here; that I’m not the only one seeing that these guys are off a bit. I definitely desire to give every teacher of the word a fair shake, but I simply don’t care to waste my time for the “left over, half-eaten, bits at the bottom.”
      Thank y’all for your continued support. It means a lot!

  3. Wow. Definitely reexamining my thoughts on elevation church. I’m starting to have that feeling you get when you purchase a timeshare and then 10 minutes later, realize you just purchased a timeshare. Thanks for your guy’s honest research and comparisons. Saved me a lot of wasted time.

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