Summary: Explains prayer using the example of Aaron and Hur.
Introduction: We are in a spiritual war!
EPH 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
A. Our fight is not a fight against individual people, but against the rulers. Our fight is not against sinners, but against sin.
B. We are in this war whether we like it or not.
C. We can look at an example of spiritual war from the Old Testament.
EX 17:10 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.
I. The battle hinged on the spiritual, not the physical.
2 COR 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
A. All the plans and programs in the world cannot change the spiritual.
B. We need to take up the spiritual weapon of prayer.
II. Prayer recognizes dependence on God.
A. Mosesâ€™ lifting his hands signified a dependence on and trust in God.
B. God constantly challenged his people not to depend on themselves or the strength of others, but to depend on God alone. He rejects those who do not trust him and rely on him.
NU 20:12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."
DT 1:32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. DT 1:34 When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly."
C. When we try to fight without the blessing of God, in our own strength, we will fail, because God will not go with us.
DT 1:41 Then you replied, "We have sinned against the LORD. We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God commanded us." So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country. DT 1:42 But the LORD said to me, "Tell them, `Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’ "
III. Mosesâ€™ act was one of intercession and prayer.
A. As the prayer went, so the battle went.
B. Not only the great leader had to pray, but others had to hold up his handsâ€¦ intercede with him.
C. Not only Aaron, well known, but also Hur, who we donâ€™t hear much else about, and certainly nothing before this event.
D. The great battle depended not on the thousands down in the valley, but on the THREE up on the mountain of prayer.
E. At the end of the great spiritual warfare passage of Scripture, Paul says, â€œ
EPH 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
F. The disciples tried to exercise spiritual authority and Jesus told them,
MK 9:28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn’t we drive it out?" MK 9:29 He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."