Prayer – God amd Me with 2 or 3 (Part 2)

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For where two or three gather in my name,
there am I with them.”
Matthew 18:20

Occasionally, I enjoy meeting with two or three friends for coffee and conversation. We share what has been happening in our lives and then pray together for our concerns. Although the Lord may be invisible, His omnipresence is evident.

In my post last week, we looked at the importance of personal one on One prayer with God. This week we will discover the power of agreeing with others in prayer and having others pray for us. Our key verse gives us the promise that Jesus will be with us when we gather together in agreement with Him. Such a sweet promise! Once again, Moses will be our example.

Exodus 17:8-13 records the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites at Rephidim. Aaron and Hur are with Moses.

In verse 9 Moses says to Joshua, “Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” Moses promises to pray while Joshua and his men fight.

Verse 11 tells us, “So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.” The power of prayer is exhibited in this verse. However, no one, not even Moses, could pray indefinitely without becoming tired.

Verse 12 says, “But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.” Here is a situation where three men gathered together to support each other in prayer. Moses needed the assistance and agreement of Aaron and Hur.

The result of the three men praying together is recorded in verse 13, “So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”

Let’s look closely at the actions and reactions of Moses in this scriptural account.

On the morning of the battle at Rephidim, Moses made praise a priority in his prayers. As Moses raised his hands, I believe he was praising the Lord as well as petitioning Him for help. This is a good reminder for us when we gather in our prayer circles. Psalm 22:3, “The Lord inhabits the praises of His people.” 

As the battle continued throughout the day, Moses needed the assistance of Aaron and Hur. Moses exhibited humility as he requested these men to pray with him. One of the common temptations in leadership is to yield to the pressure of feeling like one must do it alone.  Moses may have felt like he was compromising his integrity as the Israelites’ leader if he asked for help.

But Noses was tired. We can all identify with the weariness of praying alone for a specific need. When we feel weak, we should call upon our Aarons and Hurs to agree with us and stand with us in prayer. If it worked for Moses, it will work for us. I Peter 5:6 NLT says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

The Amalekites were conquered in the battle of Rephidim. Joshua was victorious on the battlefield because Moses, along with Aaron and Hur, were victorious on the battlefield of prayer. With the Lord’s help, each of these men were part of the triumph.

Are you in a leadership position like Moses? If so, be willing to humbly surround yourself with people who will pray with you and for you.

Or, are you a helper like Aaron or Hur? If this is you, consider it a privilege to lift up others in prayer.

Are you fighting a battle like Joshua? If this is where you find yourself, graciously accept the assistance of intercessors during your time of struggle.

Colossians 1:18 NKJV says, “that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Some translations use “supremacy” or “first place”. Whatever the language, the message proclaims the priority of Christ no matter where you find yourself within the circle of prayer.

God not only surrounds us with believers who will pray for us, but He also places us with others who will benefit from our prayers. May we be among those described in Acts 1:14, “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” Where two or three gather in His name, the Lord promises to be there as well.

 

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Be a Prays-er

Prays-er” is a word used by Cindy Jacobs in the book Possessing the Gates of the Enemy. The uniqueness of this word Cindy created has given me much to think about. Most of us will say that we are pray-ers who talk to God asking for His help in situations in our own lives and in the lives of others. However, if I say I am a “prays-er” I am describing myself as a person who praises the Lord while I am praying. As a praiser, or prays-er, I choose to praise Him because of who He is, not because of what He does for me. I praise Him because He is the Creator of all things and the One who has given me life. I praise Him because He is my Savior, Lord, Healer, Deliverer, Defender, Provider, Protector, etc. He is loving, gracious, merciful and kind. God is good! He is worthy of my praise! Psalm 29:2 says, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.” I want to fulfill this scripture by being a prays-er.

Psalms is probably the best book of the Bible for references to praise. (My Reader, you may want to do more research on your own regarding praise scriptures as I cannot begin to be inclusive in what I share. I just want to create within you a desire to become a prays-er.) Psalm 145:3 is a good starting point for praise. “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” Psalm 100:4 instructs us, “Enter gates His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 150:2 NLT says, “Praise Him for His mighty works; praise His unequaled greatness!” David and the other writers of the Psalms were definitely prays-ers!

As a leader of the Israelites, Moses sets an example of the importance of praise when he personally declares in Exodus 15:2, “The LORD is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” Moses refers to the Israelites as well as himself when he says in Deuteronomy 10:21, “He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes.” Flipping a few more pages of our Bibles, we find other references to praise.
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Chronicles 16:9 instructs, “Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.” Reading a little further in this chapter, I Chronicles 16:25 says, “For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods.” None of these people limited their conversations with God to requests. They praised God for who He was. They were prays-ers!

Being a pray-er, requires more of us than asking God to help us and meet the needs of those around us. Paul says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Petitions are a part of prayer but so is praise. When we praise the Lord for who He is, we will worry less because we will become more aware of His character and nature. When we praise the Lord for who He is, our faith is built up and we have the confidence to thank Him for what He is going to do. Praise is a powerful part of prayer! Be a pray-er and a prays-er!

Since there are scriptural references to praise in both the Old and New Testaments, praise is not restricted to a particular time period. In Isaiah 43:21, the Lord declares, “the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim My praise.” This is amazing! One of the reasons God created us is so that we can become prays-ers! Moving into the New Testament. we read I Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” Praise is pertinent for us today! God desires our praise – He wants us to be prays-ers!

Acts 16:25-26 tells us, “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” The combined power of prayer and praise resulted in freedom from the bondage of prison. The same wonder-working power of God is available to us. Paul and Silas are an awesome example of prays-ers!

Praise is mentioned in the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation. Daniel 2:20 says, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.” John says in Revelation 5:11-12, “Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels and living creatures and elders encircling the throne, and their number was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’” It is interesting that the angels also praise the Lord. One of my favorites scriptures is Philippians 2:9-11, “God highly exalted Him (Jesus), and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This indicates to me that I will be a prays-er not only while I am alive on earth but throughout all eternity! What a privilege!

I am a pray-er, a person who prays (talks to God), but I am also a prays-er, a person who praises (lifts God up and honors Him for who He is). I acknowledge with the prophet in Isaiah 25:1, “LORD, you are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” I personally declare Psalm 104:33, “I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” and Psalm 145:1-2, I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever.”

My Reader, will you be a person who praises the Lord in addition to being a person who prays to God? I encourage you with the words of Hebrews 13:15, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.” Be a prays-er!