Summary: There is a strong relationship between prayer and God's power over the church and our nation. When we raise our hands in prayer to God, the enemy is defeated. When we lower our hands, we allow the enemy to win the battle. The people of God must pray.
RAISE YOUR HANDS UP AND PRAY
Text: Exodus 17:8-16 (NIV) " 8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 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.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[c] the throne of the Lord,[d] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
We are now in chapter 17 of the Book of Exodus.
This is about the surprise attack of the Amalekites when the Israelites were on their way to Mount Sinai.
They came with the sword to destroy the Israelites but Moses was ready.
He told Joshua to choose some of the men to fight the Amalekites while he stands on top of the hill with the staff of God in his hands.
So, Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered.
Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill overlooking the ongoing battle beneath them.
As long as Moses held the staff with his hands upward to heaven, the battle was in their favor.
But whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning the battle.
The outcome of the battle was dependent upon Moses and the staff of God.
Then, it came to the point when Mose's hands grew tired of holding the staff.
It was then that Aaron and Hur came to the rescue.
They took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it while they helped Moses by holding his hands up.
One was holding one side while another was holding the other side.
It was then that Moses' hands remained steady until sunset.
So, Joshua and the few men he had overcame the Amalekites army with the sword because the Lord was fighting for them.
The Lord had answered the intercessions of Moses, Aaron and Hur.
Then, the Lord said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and to make sure that Joshua hears it.
Because God will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven."
And there, Moses built an altar and called it "The Lord is My Banner"
He said, "Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation."
Today, we are going to talk about raising your hands up and pray.
Do you know that there is a strong connection between prayer and God's power manifested over the church?
Notice what happened here.
Whenever Moses held his hands up while holding the staff, the Israelites were winning the battle over the Amalekites.
But whenever he lowered his hands, they lost the battle.
Holding up our hands to heaven is a symbol of a praying Christian asking for God's divine intervention.
When we raise our hands in prayer, God hears and will act accordingly.
In the same manner, whenever Christians pray or intercede in behalf of the land, we are winning the spiritual warfare.
It is as if we are helping the leaders (whether government or religious) raise up their hands imploring God's manifestation of authority over the church.
Whenever the Christians stop praying, it is as if we have surrendered our land over to the enemy.
Praying Christians therefore have a significant role to play for our nation's spiritual and economic prosperity.
We must raise our hands up and pray for our land.
Let me tell you a story:
I received an alarming e-mail lately from a friend explaining the death of American democracy if we do not act and pray.
"In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years ago.
"A democracy is always Temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy which is always followed by a Dictatorship."