Carson on Prayer
“The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.” (Joshua 9:14-15).
What a damning indictment! Yet could not the text be paraphrased somewhat and applied to many of us? “John Smith weighed the alternative employment opportunities before him, but did not inquire of the Lord.” “Jane Brown sought a lot of advice before she made her decision, but did not inquire of the Lord.” “The Evangelical Community Church formed a committee to explore possible approaches to evangelising their community, but did not inquire of the Lord.”
It is painfully easy for us to come to all kinds of critical points in ministry, service, family development, changes in vocation, and, precisely because we have enjoyed spiritual victories in the past, approach these matters with sophisticated criteria but without prayer. We love our independence. As a result we may repeatedly stumble and fall, because although we have exercised all our intellectual ingenuity we have not sought God’s face, we have not begged him for his wisdom.