July 21, 2006

Missions and Prayer

Exodus 17:8-16

When Moses' hands grew tired ... Aaron and Hur held his hands up ... Exodus 17:12


The apostle Paul said that he wanted people everywhere "to lift up holy hands in prayer" (1 Timothy 2:8). So that's what the little church in Leyte did. They did it with enthusiasm to show they were lifting up their concerns to God, and one deacon took it upon herself to pray a congregational prayer that would have placed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Shoulders burned, and arms slowly sagged. Teenagers quietly chuckled, and all wished they were standing somewhere between Aaron and Hur.

That church's gesture and the story of Moses' upraised arms illustrate a point about prayer. Joshua's victory in battle was utterly dependent on God's power mediated through his servant Moses.

This relationship of prayer and God's action in our lives is as true today as it was then. The Scriptures confirm this mysterious power of prayer again and again.

Why, then, are we not more prayerful? Because prayer is the most difficult part of the battle. Moses grew tired, and so do we. There are invisible blockages and internal resistances to prayer. For most of us, it's easier to get busy than to be still and pray. But for essential prayer to continue, we must rest like Moses on the rock of God's promises with the help of the community.

Will you pray?

Dear Lord, teach us to pray. Teach us to persevere for the things we know you want us to ask for, even if your answer seems long in coming. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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