#430 - RAISING ARMS IN PRAYER - (3/9/21)
During this LEARNING TO HEAR series I’m taking a different approach to these devotionals. I want to us work harder at searching the scriptures for ourselves. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily’ method below to help us with this. It’s well worth the hard work involved!
Today we have a number of texts that help us to reflect on the power of meeting together to pray.
‘So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 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. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.’ (Exodus 17:10-13)
I’ve included my reflections on today’s text below. However, I encourage you to pray and spend time reflecting (writing can be helpful) using the 5 questions below before reading my thoughts.
i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?
ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?
iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?
v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.
MY REFLECTIONS (BASED UPON A CONTRIBUTION ON SUNDAY MORNING)
A text like this doesn’t speak of the gospel directly. However, we can find gospel truths in all of scripture and it’s helpful to practice looking for them. This text can encourage us to believe that we have access to God in prayer through the blood of Christ. In all of the battles of life, we can go up the mountain of prayer and be certain of victory. Because Jesus went to the hill of the cross, we can ascend the hill of prayer!
God involves us in the various spiritual battles that we face. God can easily destroy and protect us from all harm, however, He often involves us through prayer and acts of faith. God is a Father, and as such, He is training us in many lessons, and learning to pray is one of His most important lessons.
The ‘IN’ aspect seems to be the emphasis of this text. We, at different times, are different characters in this account. Sometimes we are Moses - we are the one who is leading in prayer. Sometimes we are Aaron and Hur - the friends who are following the lead of another or are supporting another in ministry or prayer. Sometimes we are Joshua - we are among those who are doing practical acts for God.
It’s helpful, in different contexts, to bear the roles of leadership, support and practical helps in mind and discern which role you need to play.
From the contribution on Sunday that inspired this devotional, God was encouraging us to hold up one another's arms as we seek to help each other to pray. God wants all of our activities to be held up in prayer so that we can see spiritual progress.
As we pray, we will see the victory of people coming to faith. A church that truly prays will see a harvest. Jesus urges us,
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37-38)