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Summary: In times of crisis we quickly go to the Lord in prayer. The Amalekites attack Israel and Moses took Aaron and Hur with him on a hill to pray.

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Partners in Prayer

Exodus 17:8-13

One night in 1968, the pilot of an airline bound for New York realized that the landing gear of his jet would not engage. Traveling ever closer to his destination, he continued to work the controls, trying to get the wheels to lock into place, but he had no success. Circling over the airport, he asked the control tower for instructions. The ground crew, responding to the impending crisis, sprayed the runway with foam, and emergency vehicles moved into position. The pilot was instructed to land the plane the best he could.

The passengers were asked to prepare themselves for the worst and to put themselves into a crash position. Moments before landing, the pilot announced over the intercom: "We are beginning our final descent. In accordance with International Aviation Codes established at Geneva, it is my obligation to inform you that if you believe in God, you should commence praying.¨ The plane then performed a belly landing, and miraculously, came to a stop with no injury to the passengers.

If that pilot hadn’t found himself in a crisis that day, his passengers would never have known about the airline¡¦s hidden provision for prayer. Many don’t see prayer as a regular privilege and opportunity. But when crisis times come then they think about the value of prayer.

Have you noticed that it is often after times of blessing and seeing good things happen that we are faced with times of crisis?

Several years ago I was flying from New York to Wichita, KS. I departed on Saturday and was due to arrive in the evening at the Wichita, KS airport. The pastor of the MicPherson, KS Church was going to pick me up to speak at the church that Sunday morning to begin a four day spiritual life emphasis at the church.

We took off from the JF Kennedy airport and were in the air for a short time when there was a loud bang and the plane shook. Loud gasps went up all over the wide belly airplane. After a while the captain came on the intercom and said one of the jet engines had failed, but the good news was we still had three engines and should make it okay to St. Louis. After another 15 ¡V 20 minutes there was another loud bang and the plane shook and shuttered again and lost altitude. Louder cries and gasps could be heard in the plane. Then the captain came on the intercom again and said that another engine had failed so we were going to have to make an emergency landing at the Pittsburg, PA airport.

At that point there was a hushed silence and you could hear people praying and talking in strained voices. I also prayed, ¡§Lord if this is my time to go be with you I am ready. But I pray for a safe landing.

When we neared the Pittsburg airport I could see emergencies vehicles along the runway with lights flashing. We all braced for the landing. It was bumpy but okay.

I caught a later flight from Pittsburg to St. Louis but missed my flight to Wichita. I called and made arrangements to fly early Sunday morning to Wichita. One of the members of the McPherson FMC flew his private plane to Wichita and picked me up. We arrived in McPherson the time church was to start. I made it to the church just in time to walk to the pulpit and preach. The service was broadcast on the local radio station.

In times of trauma and crisis we go to prayer and our prayers are desperate.

The Children of Israel had just experienced an answer to their prayer. Exodus 17:1-7 They were in the desert and without water. They blamed Moses for leading them into the desert to let them die. They were about ready to stone Moses when God told Moses to take his staff and some of the leaders of Israel and go to the Rock at Mount Sinai. Moses was to strike the Rock with his shepherd¡¦s staff and water would come pouring out.

Moses took several leaders with him and went to the rock. He struck the Rock and water poured out like the Niagara Falls. It took lots of water to quench the thirst of 2-3 million people. Exodus 12:37 says there were 600,000 men in the exodus from Egypt.

Right after this blessing of having fresh water the Amalekites attack the children of Israel. The Amalekites were descendents of Esau though not part of the Edom nation. The Amalekites disregarded God and their attack on God¡¦s people brought them under the judgment of God. History would record that the Amalekites would b ultimately wiped out as a people in the days of Hezekiah. (I Chronicles 4:41-43)

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