Read Judges 19 – 21

And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, which of us shall go up first to battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Judah shall go up first. Judges 20:18 KJV

Have you ever gotten involved in something you believed was a just cause? You prayed about it and jumped in with both feet, but it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would. The people of Israel seemed to have a just cause to rally around, and prayer seemed to have a central role in the decisions made. But prayer was simply a cover-up for emotions and personal conclusions. They prayed only after a determination about the justness of their cause was reached and decisions were made. Praying at the wrong time and for the wrong thing will never get us the answer we really need! The whole incident left Israel full of regrets; it usually does when we act on emotions first rather than prayer. Before decisions are made we must humble ourselves, approach God as He requires, and wait until we can hear His voice above the situation, our emotions, and personal conclusions.

Lord, much pain was caused in Israel because of hasty actions based on how they felt. They prayed but already knew what they would do. Protect me from reacting first and praying only after I’ve decided what to do.