The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
What a promise and what a challenge! Be still when the world says take charge, run faster, push harder, do more, make it happen – whatever it is. Just do it!
This passage is written as a command, to be “done” or really not done without exception. How do you reconcile the line between being a wise advocate and when you shouldn’t push forward? Consider the word “push.” Is this a clue?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE STILL?
It is a call for those involved in the war to stop fighting, to be still. The word still is a translation of the Hebrew word rapa, meaning “to slacken, let down, or cease.” In some instances, the word carries the idea of “to drop, be weak, or faint.” It suggests two people fighting until someone separates them and makes them drop their weapons. It is only after the fighting has stopped that the warriors can acknowledge their trust in God. We might interpret the command to “be still” as “to be quiet in God’s presence.” While quietness is certainly helpful, the phrase means to stop frantic activity, to let down, and to be still. Being “still” would involve looking to the Lord for help and would mean ceasing to fight a battle that cannot be won.
WHAT BATTLE ARE YOU FIGHTING?
Consider the idea that The Lord will fight for you. But what if He is waiting to begin fighting for you until you stop frantic physical and/or mental activity?
Practically speaking what would it look like for you to be still? Not only quieting yourself, but releasing your grip on a difficult situation or circumstance?
Do you ever find yourself uttering, “I am too weak. I feel like I am going to faint. I am sorry I have dropped the ball.” But what if this very weakness is the place where God wants to show us how He is fighting the battle for us?
PRAYER PROMPT GUIDE
Sometimes we all need a little encouragement and a boost in our prayer lives. While talking with God should be easy, a guide can be a helpful resource to lean into, spurring us on to deeper, more intimate conversations with Him.
- Set aside a special time and place to meet with God. For each one of us this may look different. Some might find that being outside draws them closer to God. Others might release their thoughts and prayers best when moving, like when taking a walk or on an elliptical. For others, a special chair or room might open their hears to connect with God. No matter where you meet Him, it’s important to designate a time to sit at the feet of Jesus. It may be a specific time or something more general, like in the morning, but making that time a priority will bless your entire day.
- Quiet your heart and mind. Breathe deeply. Life may move at a hectic pace or we may have trouble letting go of anxiety or our “to-do” list, but for most of us, it can be challenging to slow down and quiet our minds. Breathing deeply is a great cue for our bodies to release tension and relax.
- Slowly read the Scripture and the prompt, perhaps several times. Reading slowly and deliberately is another way to reinforce the solace we seek. Reading the Scripture several times then “preaching” those words to ourselves helps us to really “hear” God speaking to us. Scripture transforms us from the inside out.
- Write the verse in your journal, noting any words that catch your attention. Writing in a journal is another way to slow down and it creates a memory of the time we spend in prayer. Scripture on the page – underlined, highlighted, or circled – invites curiosity about what God may want to talk with us about.
- Talk with God, taking time to listen, then journal your thoughts. The previous steps begin to soften us, preparing us for a two-way conversation with our loving Father, who wants to hear what’s on our hearts and minds. Scripture guides us to a path where the Good Shepherd is waiting to lead us, to remind us of His deep love for us, and to draw us to Himself. While we may not realize that transformation is in process, journaling helps us to see, over time, where we are being lead to love, serve, and care for those in our sphere of influence.
VISIT THE CHRONIC JOY PRAYER POND
You’re invited to the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond. Toss your prayer requests, updates, and shouts of praise into the pond then watch them ripple with radical hope and compassionate change throughout our community and beyond. Then be sure #PrayItForward by clicking the “I PRAYED FOR THIS” button to let the requester know you prayed for them.
We are all blessed to have a place to pray and people to pray with and for us. Who do you know needs to toss a prayer or praise into the pond, and who might link arms with us in prayer?