Summary: When prayer fails, Satan prevails.


Text: Isa.65: 24; Ex.17: 8-16

Intro: Folks, the need of the hour is powerful, persistent, passionate, prevailing prayer. The need is far greater than most of God’s people realize. The moral fiber of our nation has crumbled. Real love and compassion have become almost non-existent. Confusion and upheaval have swept across this country like a tidal wave. Even the so-called religious community is showing alarming signs of spiritual ambiguity. According to Barna Research, “A minority of born again adults (44%) and an even smaller proportion of born again teenagers (9%) are certain of the existence of absolute moral truth.”1 If ever Christians needed to learn to prevail in prayer, it is now.

Dear brothers and sisters, if you remember nothing else from this message, please remember this: “When prayer fails, Satan prevails.” The demons of Hell rejoice when the child of God is prayerless. Satan knows well that prayerless Christians are powerless Christians.

Christians are embroiled in one of the most heated and holy battles of all time—the battle against “…the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph.6: 12b). If we are to prevail, we must fight the good fight of faith; we must pray. The souls of lost men and women literally hang in the balance. While lost souls teeter-totter on the brink of destruction, Christians are largely unconcerned and prayerless.

Today I would like to examine the importance of prevailing in prayer. Exodus 17: 8-16 illustrates well this principle of the Word of God. Examine it with me today.

Theme: Prevailing prayer among God’s people is essential because of:


A. The Attack Of The Enemy.

1. Amalek’s attack was calculated.

Ex.17: 8 “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.”

Deut.25: 17 “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;

18a How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee…”

NOTE: [1] The Amalekites were a nomadic people who were descendants of Esau, though they were not a part of the nation of Edom (Gen.36: 12).

[2] Amalek attacked Israel from the rear, rather than make a frontal assault. This was no doubt an attempt to catch the Israelites off guard.

2. Amalek’s attack was cowardly.

Deut.25: 18a “How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee…”

NOTE: [1] The Amalekites struck Israel at their weakest point. The infirmed, sickly and elderly were traveling at the rear since they were slower.

[2] The devil loves to attack us in those weak and unguarded areas of our lives. Therefore, we must remain spiritually alert. The apostle Peter tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Pet.5: 8). We are also warned by Paul, who said, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor.10: 12). Be warned: Often it is those areas of our lives where we feel we are strongest that is most vulnerable to Satan’s attack, because we don’t think we have anything to worry about in those areas.

[3] Let me illustrate with the following true story:

During the Revolutionary War, a loyalist spy appeared at the headquarters of Hessian commander Colonel Johann Rall, carrying an urgent message. General George Washington and his Continental army had secretly crossed the Delaware River that morning and were advancing on Trenton, New Jersey where the Hessians were encamped.

The spy was denied an audience with the commander, and instead, wrote his message on a piece of paper. A porter took the note to the Hessian colonel, but because Rall was involved in a poker game, he stuffed the unread note into his pocket.

When the guards at the Hessian camp began firing their muskets in a futile attempt to stop Washington’s army, Rall was still playing cards. Without time to organize, the Hessian army was captured. The battle occurred the day after Christmas, 1776, giving the colonists a late present—their first major victory of the war.2

B. The Attack Came When Israel Was Exhausted.

Deut.25: 18b “How he met thee by the way…when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.”

NOTE: [1] Israel was walking through a dry, barren desert. Though they were headed to the Promised Land, and though God led them and sustained them, they still found the journey tiring. The same is true of God’s present-day people. We are promised the presence, power, protection and provision of God as we make our way heavenward. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t find ourselves weary and faint at times. It is particularly important during these times of physical or spiritual weariness that we remain vigilant; for it is then that we are most vulnerable to the enemy.

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