Scripture Reading: Exodus 17:1-18:27 / Mark 1:1-28 / Psalm 22:1-11
A woman received a phone call that her daughter was sick so on the way home from work she stopped off at the pharmacy to get some medicine. She returned to her car and discovered her keys were locked inside the car. She found a rusty coat hanger and tried to open the door but to no avail. In desperation and frustration she began to pray, asking God to send her some help. Within 5 minutes a motorcycle roared up next to her and the rough biker asked if he could help her.
She thought help would come in a different way or wouldn't be so “threatening” but she accepted his help and in less than a minute he had the door open. She hugged the man and through her tears said, "Thank you so much! You are such a nice man." The man replied; "No, I’m not, Lady. I just got out of prison for car theft." The woman hugged him again and with tears cried out, “God, you even sent me a professional!"
Prayer is powerful and God responds in a variety of ways…sometimes in unusual ways! Israel faced their first battle when the Amalekites attacked the weaker, older and unsuspecting Israelites near the back of the ranks. Moses instructed Joshua to choose men and fight while he took Aaron and Hur to the hilltop with the staff of God in his hand. The staff wasn’t insignificant but was a sign of God’s power. Moses lifted the staff and God parted the Red Sea. Moses also struck the rock with the staff and water flowed out of the rock.
Moses acted as the standard bearer for Israel. As Moses held the staff in the air, Israel prevailed but when his arms grew weak, he dropped his hands and the Amalekites prevailed. (Exodus 17:11) Steady hands stretched out to God in prayer win battles, not strong swords. Jesus accomplished His greatest victory over satan when His hands were outstretched on a cross. Victory will come when we lift up our faith in prayer and intercession above the battles of this life. We will not prevail unless prayer is lifted heavenward!
It was important for the staff of God to be lifted above the battle below but Moses grew weary. Joshua’s hands were not heavy in fighting but Moses’ hands were heavy in prayer. It was humanly impossible for Moses to hold the staff above his head throughout the day during the long battle. Aaron and Hur sat Moses on a rock and held up his hands until the Amalekites were defeated.
We face prolonged obstacles in life where minutes seem like hours and hours seem like days. We become spiritually and emotionally frazzled, as our faith gets weary, prayers get difficult and hearts get heavy. During those times we need someone to come along side of us. We need others to help steady our hands and intercede on our behalf. It is natural for our hands to become heavy but we can’t let that limit us or stop God’s power from flowing in our lives. When our faith falters and becomes weary, we need others to intercede…we need a helping hand.