Have you ever heard the of term “Fleece Praying?”
It usually involves asking God for some sort of sign to either confirm or deny God’s will or direction for an individual. This type of praying goes beyond just simply praying for clarity. Fleece praying usually involves an attitude that says, “I need to see it to believe it.”
This thinking comes from an account found in Judges 6:36-40. For context, God had just called Gideon to become a judge, a military and spiritual leader, of Israel. God promises to use Gideon to deliver Israel out of the hands of its enemies. Gideon, however, is unconvinced. He asks God for multiple signs, specifically a wet and then a dry fleece that he laid out at night. God endures Gideon’s requests and provides the signs that Gideon felt as though he needed.
When looking at the account of Gideon and the wet fleece the question that is almost always raised is, “should we pray like that in the church age?” The answer is no, not even Gideon should have prayed like that.
The Bible records the story for us so that we can:
1) know what happened
2) see Gideon’s lack of faith
3) see God’s extended patience with Gideon
4) see God’s willingness to work and use mankind in spite of their continued lack of faith.
Gideon’s actions of demanding a sign from God are hardly the kind of actions that we should be replicating. God is God, who are we to demand anything from Him.
You might say, “but that’s not fair, he needed to be completely sure before he committed fully!” While we certainly can understand this thinking it is not quite in line with how we should approach following God’s will and direction. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says that we are to walk by faith and not by sight, additionally Isaiah 55:8-9 says that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts.
The point is this; we cannot always understand God’s reasons, but we must trust Him. And we should trust Him, He has an excellent track record! We must have faith in God when He instructs us to do something through His Word or through the prodding of the Holy Spirit. We must remember and trust His promises.
We must be willing to have faith even when God does not give us the sign we are looking for.
Fleece praying should not be taught.What should be taught is that we should always seek God’s will in our prayers and for Him to guide and direct us in our praying. (James 4:3) There are many people that want to ask God to show them specific signs and symbols so that they can know what to do, or not do. However, we must remember that God has already given us “signs and symbols” He has given us His Word.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that God can’t or won’t answer prayer in this way. However, we must remember that God has already given us “signs and symbols,” He has given us His Word. We should remember what Jesus said to Thomas, a guy who demanded a sign. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
His Word is all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and that, my friends, is far better than a wet fleece.
Till next time,