Summary: Plan for prayer. We need both team players (working together), and team prayers (praying together). Get to a vantage point and know where the needs are. Do not stop praying until the battle is over. Victory comes through prayer.
This story is a dramatic one. It was Israel’s first battle.
• They met the Amalekites at Rephidim.
• Joshua commanded the forces of Israel, while Moses, Aaron and Hur went up on the mountain to pray.
• Moses had the rod of God in his hands.
The encounter was a dramatic see-saw of prayer power.
• At times Israel would appear to be winning, and then the Amalekites; then Israel, then the Amalekites.
• Finally the issue of battle was decided.
• The soldiers on the field were not determining the issue of victory by themselves.
• Rather, the intercessors on the mountain were playing the deciding factor.
Imagine this beautiful picture of those intercessors on the mountain.
• Moses, an old man, held up his hands with the rod of God in them.
• But he grew weary. His friends Aaron and Hur took a stone and put it under him so that he could sit down on it.
• Then they stood on either side and held up Moses’ hands so that they would be steady.
• They did that all day long, “till sunset.” (12:17)
It is a stirring picture of God’s intercessor at work.
• Few on the ground might have noticed, but he was the deciding factor in this battle.
Do you want to do something great for the Lord?
• Be His intercessor. Pray and keep praying for God’s people and His work.
• God needs intercessors today. Why? Because the church needs His power.
Moses understood this right from the beginning.
• Ex 17:9 Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."
• While Joshua plans for battle – choose his men, organise them to fight.
• Moses plan for prayer – he chose his men, Aaron and Hur.
• While Joshua and his men fight on their feet, Moses and his men will fight ‘on their knees’, so to speak.
Do you plan for prayer, like the way you plan for your work, your project?
(1) To win the war, we need BOTH people to work, and people to pray.
• Not either-or but both.
• You cannot fight a war and not pray. You cannot pray and not fight.
Where was Moses’ confidence? In God. He took the rod of God with him.
• His trust wasn’t really on Joshua or the army, but in God.
• It was not about good battle strategy, or the skills of warfare.
• Moses was pinning his hope in God.
The rod of God was previously the “shepherd staff”, remember? An ordinary stick.
• God asked him to take it with him before he entered Egypt – Exo 4:17 “But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.”
• The rod represents the ‘authority of God’. He used it to confront Pharaoh, to split the Red Sea, and now he was going to bring God into the battle.
Today, do we have a rod with us? Yes, the unseen “rod” is the Name of the Lord.
• That’s the authority with have when we come into battle with Satan.
• Jesus says in John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”
• We are going to pray in Jesus’ Name, that the sick be healed, that the sorrowful be comforted, that the lost be saved.
• Without this, we are helpless against Satan.
(2) Get to a vantage point and know where the needs are.
Why take the trouble to climb up the hill?
• Can’t we pray at the foot of the hill? Better still, back in camp, or in the comfort of his tent?
• Will God hear his prayer, if he said it in camp?
• Yes. God hears our prayer wherever we are.
But Moses needs to see. An intercessor needs to know where the needs are.
• To be effective in prayer, you need to address the needs.
• Standing on top of the hill, Moses watched his people and knew their needs and dangers.
• 17:11: “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.”
• How did he know? He was watching over them.
The Bible puts these 2 words together: “watch and pray” (Mt 26:41).
• To watch is to be aware of your weaknesses, limitations, and your needs.
• A good intercessor needs to know where the needs are, where the problem is greatest.
• He is like the watchman on top of the tower, watching out.