Summary: When Moses prayed, Israel won the battle. When he stopped, Israel lost. Prayer lead us to victory and sadly the lack of it to defeat.
PRAYER HELPS WIN BATTLES
By Ng Wah Lok
Text : Exo 17:8-16
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 how a battle can be won through prayer.
1. INTERCESSORS MUST PRAY WHILE THE SOLDIERS FIGHT.
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 remained behind to pray while his spiritual son Joshua fought the war. What an example of a spiritual father. No wonder Joshua became a great leader. He had a spiritual father who prayed for him. Many people go to war without prayer support. This is probably why there are so many casualties in the Christian faith. People fail to pray. Many do not have spiritual fathers to pray for them. Joshua was indeed a privileged man.
Let us look at what Moses did.
Standing speaks of alertness. Intercessors must be alert. An intercessor is someone who is awake in the dark and watches over the city. When the enemy comes, he will sound the alarm so that the people can arise immediately to defend the city. The Bible teaches if the watch man falls asleep and does not sound the alarm, the blood of the people will be upon his hand. What an awesome responsibility an intercessor has.
Are you Standing, Sitting or Sleeping ?
b) Top of the hill
The top of the hill is a place where the person has an overview of the battle. An intercessor should be able to see the overall purposes of God so that he will have spiritual insights on how to pray.
c) 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. When we come against the Devil in the name of Jesus, we have authority over him. Remember, pray with the authority God has given to us.
2. A WEAKENING OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER WILL LEAD 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 prayer stopped, Amalek prevailed.
IF WE FAIL TO PLAN, WE ARE PLANNING TO FAIL.
IF WE FAIL TO PRAY, WE ARE DESTINED TO FAIL.
In Matthew 26, we find that Jesus had trouble getting his disciples to pray with him for one hour.
V40 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “Why could you not wait with me one hour ?”
V41 – 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 ?
The disciples paid a high price for not praying. Within a few days of this prayerlessness, they were all scattered as Jesus was crucified. Peter denied Jesus three times. The rest of the disciples ran away as Jesus died on the cross. Only the women were left to look after his body. I often wonder if the scenario would have been different if they had prayed with Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane. Perhaps Peter may not have denied Jesus as God may have delivered him through his temptation.
3. ONE STRONG INTERCESSOR IS INSUFFICIENT. A TEAM IS NEEDED
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. Everyone is called to be an intercessor. A TEAM of intercessors is needed.
T - Together
E – Everyone
A - Achieves
M - More
Jesus needed his disciples to pray with him at Gethsemane (Mt 26). Can you imagine even the Son of God needed his disciples to pray with him ? How much more, we as mortal human beings need intercessors to pray with us in our time of need. We cannot live our Christian lives on the faith and prayers of a few Godly man.