Read Joshua 7 – 8

And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned. Joshua 7:10-11 KJV

There is a time for prayer; this was not it. This was a time for dealing with sin. Joshua and the people of Israel had gone to battle in their own power thinking it would be easy. It turned out a terrible defeat. They had not prayed, or looked for God’s direction, and there was sin among them which had not been dealt with. Joshua should have been consulted the Lord before he went to Ai. That’s when they should have been on their face, but that’s the one thing that was missing. They never once consulted Him. Too often the same happens with us. We ignore God; depend on ourselves, and when things don’t go well we wonder why. That is not the time to ask God why He has let us down. God’s answer to Joshua was simple; before they could be blessed they needed to face their sin. We cannot expect God to hear our prayers when we fail to turn away from our sins either.

Lord, I know too often I am also like Joshua, I cry to you when it is too late. Prayer needs to be the first thing, not the last thing. Help me keep the timing of my prayers such that I might avoid the pain of acting without your blessing.