Text : Exo 17:8-16
8Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand." 10So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
14Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." 15And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; 16for he said, "Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to gen
In this passage, we see Israel going to war with the Amalek. Moses sends Joshua out to war but remained behind to pray. While his hands were lifted up, Israel had victory. When his hands were weary and slipped down, Israel suffered defeat. So Aaron and Hur supported Moses and helped lift his hand. Israel had a great victory that day.
Here are 5 reasons why the battle was won.
PRAYER PROVIDES AIR COVER FOR GROUND TROOPS
Exo 17:9 And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand".
Moses prayed while his spiritual son fought. Many people go to war without prayer support. No wonder there are so many casualties in the Christian faith. People fail to pray. Many do not have spiritual fathers to pray for them. It is like going to war without adequate air cover.
The war against Iraq was won in the air. The United States has complete dominion over the air space leaving the Iraq ground troops helpless against air strikes. That is what prayer achieves. It helps us take dominion over the spiritual air space.
Let us look at the significance of what Moses did.
Standing speaks of alertness. Intercessors must be alert. Moses was not sitting down and resting.
Are you Standing, Sitting or Sleeping ?
Top of the hill
The top of the hill gives an overview of the battle. An intercessor should be able to see the overall battle. He has spiritual insight on how and what to pray.
Rod of God in his hand.
Holding the rod speaks of authority. The rod was given to Moses as a sign of Moses' leadership. Moses used the rod to defeat the Egyptian sorcerers and opened the Red Sea.
We must use our authority over the devil when we pray
THE LACK OF PRAYER LEADS TO DEFEAT
Exo. 17:11 And so it was when Moses held up his hands, that Israel prevailed and when he let down his hands, Amalek prevailed.
The evidence given in the verse is clear. When Moses stopped praying, Amalek prevailed.
IF WE FAIL TO PLAN, WE ARE PLANNING TO FAIL.
IF WE FAIL TO PRAY, WE ARE DESTINED TO FAIL.
Jesus provided us an example of the need to pray at the garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26. Even the Son of God had to pray when he faced the greatest challenge in his life; the agony of the cross. But his disciples felt otherwise. They succumbed to tiredness and fell asleep.
V40,41 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "Why could you not wait with me one hour ?" Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.
V45 - Are you still sleeping and resting ?
Within a few days of this prayerlessness, the disciples were scattered while Jesus triumphed at the cross. Peter denied Jesus three times. I often wonder if the scenario would have been different if the disciples had prayed with Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane.
The disciples failed because they failed to pray
PRAYER CANNOT BE DELEGATED
Ex 17:12 But Moses hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him. And he sat down. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on each side, and the other on the other side, and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
Moses grew tired and had to be supported by 2 strong men, one on each side. Sometimes, we think we can leave prayer to God's appointed intercessors. The truth is that we can't. Moses needed other men to pray with him. Remember that prayer cannot be delegated. Everyone is called to be an intercessor.
It is interesting to note that Jesus requested his disciples to pray with him at Gethsemane. Even the Son of God needed his disciples to pray with him. Furthermore, the disciples had to pray themselves to overcome temptation. We cannot live our Christian lives on the faith and prayers of a few Godly man.
Recently I had a chance to attend a prayer meeting for a Steve Hill rally in Malaysia. To my surprise, there were only 20 people at the prayer meeting. I knew immediately we were going to be in trouble for the actual rally itself. Everyone knows that Steve Hill has a powerful ministry and carries a strong anointing in his life. So we conveniently did not provide adequate prayer support. For the first night, only 4000 people came for the rally although the stadium could hold 18000 people. It was personally a good lesson for me.
GOD ONLY HAS SONS AND NO GRANDSONS.
PRAYER HAS A GENERATIONAL EFFECT
Ex 17:14 Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua.
Moses gave 2 specific instructions. Write and recount it especially to the hearing of Joshua.
Amazingly, we see here that prayer affects the next generation positively. This is an important principle. This is why praying for our children is absolutely critical. If we pray for our children consistently, we can almost be assured that God will keep them in the faith because of our prayers.
Are you recording your prayers ?
Are you recording God's answers to your prayers ?
Are you sharing your testimonies ?
Are you passing on this praying lifestyle to the next generation ?
Many revivals are not passed on to the next generation because the next generation do not pray like the fore- fathers of the revivals.
Learn the discipline of journalling. It is a good record of what God is doing and has done for you.
PRAYER CREATES A BANNER OF PROTECTION OVER US
Ex 17:15 Moses built an altar and called its name, The Lord is my banner.
Intercessory prayer creates a banner of protection over God's people. What a way to end this story by remembering that God is our banner. But the banner was there only when Moses lifted his hands to pray.
People often assume that the banner will always be there. The fact is when they failed to pray, they were losing the battle. The banner of protection is there, on the condition that we pray.
THE SECRET OF PRAYER IS PRAYER IN SECRET
I have given you 5 reasons why you must pray. Make a commitment to God to improve your prayer life today. You will discover that prayer will make a difference to your spiritual life.
About the author
Wah Lok is the author of the song "Every Time I Pray". The song was written in 1981 together with his fellow Pastor Voon Yuen Woh. The Mandarin version of this song has swept across Asia, blessing millions of lives, especially in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Wah Lok is also the Principal of Tung Ling Seminary and teaches extensively on music, worship and prayer related topics. You can find some of his songs and teaching materials from his website www.tabernaclemusic.net under "Resources" and "Wah Lok's songs".
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