Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed,
and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Exodus 17:11 (ESV)
CEF Culture Point 3
Importance of Prayer as Our Foundation
It is not the work we do, the meetings we hold or the decisions we make that bring the greatest advances in the work; it is the time spent before the throne of God in prayer, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that brings power, labourers and resources into the ministry.
When do we give importance to prayer?
- When we see how helpless we are
As long as we think that our effort, our planning and our meetings will bring the greatest advances in our ministry, these will be our priorities. Moses had the big advantage of clearly seeing how helpless Joshua was without prayer when he fought the Amalekites. For whenever Moses prayed, Israel prevailed. And whenever Moses stopped praying, the enemy prevailed. Nobody needed to convince Moses of the importance of prayer. May the Lord open our eyes so that we would see how helpless we are in the spiritual battle of our ministry!
- When we see that prayer is God’s chosen means for us to draw down His power
Moses quickly learned that God had chosen his prayer as the means to draw down God’s strength from above. Whenever he held up his hands, victorious power came down for the Israelites. When he stopped praying, he also ceased to draw down God’s power. And immediately the Amalekites gained the upper hand1. Prayer is God’s chosen means to bring His strength to us for victory and to provide everything else God’s ministry and God’s people need.
- When we see that the Lord Jesus is waiting for us to come to the throne of grace
Moses had no explicit word from God that his prayer would bring the help Israel needed. We do! Hebrews 4:16 expressly encourages us, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Jesus knows your needs from more than just from an observer’s point of view. He has been through it himself! Therefore He sympathises with you. And your powerful Lord is sitting on the throne of grace, which means, He is willing to give you all the help and resources you need in His perfect timing. Follow His invitation!
Are you already helpless enough?
Is Ex 17:11 a verse for memorisation? It is! Because it puts the truth in a nutshell that a work for God will always be under attack and will only prevail when prayer is our foundation.
1Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament