Reflections on 10 Days of Prayer
She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. – Joshua 15:19
As we end our 10 Days of Prayer and Fasting I believe that God has spoken very clearly to us through his written word, and through the prophetic word. There was an initial prophetic word given to the church about water gushing out and about springs being dug. This has been a recurring theme throughout the 10 days, which I believe has been grounded in the written word of God as we kept coming back to the above verse, Joshua 15:19. In this blog I want to explore this further and then see what I believe this means for us as a church.
In the book of Joshua there are the “land-grant” narratives including the passage in chapter 14 where Joshua blesses Caleb and gives him Hebron as promised to him by Moses many years before (Deut. 1:36; cf. Num. 14:24). In Joshua 15 we see that Caleb drove out the inhabitants of the land, and gave his daughter, Achsah, as a wife to Othniel who conquered Kiriath-seher. It is his daughter that then says to her father since you have given me Negeb (or Negev) give me also water. Negeb was the south lands which were dry and arid, so the request was for adjoining land which had springs of water. Caleb granted her request and gave her the upper and lower springs.
Not only does to show us a father’s heart to grant the requests of his children, but also, in the context of this blog, to demonstrate the need of water for fruitfulness. What good would have been a dry and barren land to Othniel and Achsah? Water is required for their well-being, their flocks and crops.
This is a recurring theme throughout scripture and the illustration of a dry land is applied spiritually as in the Psalms:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. – Psalm 63:1
Sometimes we can identify with the psalmist in our own lives as we hunger and thirst after God. Jesus picks up this theme as he spoke to the woman at the well about “living water” he said that:
“… whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14
Of course the “spring of water welling up” is the Holy Spirit in our lives, bringing fruits of righteousness, peace and joy to every Spirit filled believer. It was significant that as we finished our 10 Days we then celebrated Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church, and God so wonderfully met with us. We need to be continually filled with God’s Holy Spirit so that our lives will be fruitful and productive for his kingdom.
For us as a church, we need to keep coming back to God to be filled with him, so that the work that we do is fruitful. We have been shown favour in the community with opportunities to serve and minister God’s love, peace, comfort and justice. However, this can sometimes be a dry and barren work, without much fruit. Let us pray constantly for a Holy Spirit anointing on the work of our hands so that we will see much fruit in people’s lives. Isaiah 61 starts by declaring that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me”, then continues to speak about the fruitfulness of this anointing: comfort, liberty, freedom, beauty, joy, and restoration. Our prayer must be that our work and ministry brings transformation, that God will anoint his church to be change agents for our communities, friends, families, and work colleagues. That springs of living water will well up and many people will be saved, and will follow Jesus, restored, healed and set free.
Let us persevere in our prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to be poured out upon the church just as he was at the first Pentecost, and that the church will be fruitful and that there will be a spring of living water gushing forth bringing refreshing on a dry and thirsty land.
Come Holy Spirit!
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. – Isaiah 44:3