Intercessory prayer has been a big theme for me for the last week. I was chosen to read Romans 8:26-27 to our church body at our service last Sunday and that verse has stuck with me. I love this reminder that the Spirit is interceding in prayer for us, that He knows our needs even more intimately than we do. I love to refer to this verse when I don't know where to start with prayer, when I'm so confused/ tired/ angry that I don't even know how to pray, I can find comfort that the Spirit does, and that He is doing it.
Then I found myself listening to this sermon on intercessory prayer earlier this week and I ate it up.
The sermon covers Exodus 17... when Moses is praying over the battle with the Amalekites. Here are some points the Greg made in his sermon that I found interesting;
-Our prayers matter... they can effect the outcome of events... God invites us to participate with Him through intercessory prayer. This is shown through how when Moses was praying (with his hands raised) the Israelites were winning, but when he stopped the Amalekites were winning. It was God's will for Israel to win this battle, but He wanted to involve others in that, Moses had to be obedient for that outcome to be achieved.
-the two most common poses for prayer in Scripture are with arms raised, or lying prostrate... no where in Scripture does anyone pray with hands clasped... so where did we get that from... is that just a religious principle we've instilled on ourselves?
-Pray specifically... Moses prayed specifically, for that specific battle, at that specific time
-Sometimes we need help praying... Moses got tired and would lower his hands, at times he needed Aaron and Hur to hold up his hands
-Pray through to completion... Moses continued to pray until the battle was won... he didn't say one quick prayer and go about his day, he prayed constantly until God delivered
These are such great lessons that we can learn from Moses about prayer and interceding! Remember friends, we are in a battle, let us be praying continually and constantly interceding.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.