So how is your prayer life? Do you even have one? Does your church have a regular prayer meeting? If so, do you look forward to attending and participating? Regretfully, the answer to most of the questions above is a resounding, no. But why? Perhaps we have forgotten Who is in control and the sovereign means that He has designed to bring about His plan in the world; namely the Holy Sovereign God has designated our participation in what He is doing in the world by way of our prayer. We are assured that we don’t know how or what to pray for as we should, but the Holy Spirit leads us to pray and helps us to pray according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26–27 (ESV) — 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We also have the help of the Lord Jesus Christ who is our High Priest, Who lives to make intercession for us, and He does not change.
Hebrews 4:14–16 (ESV) — 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 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.
Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) — 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) — 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
We see in the passage above that because of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has provided us a “throne of grace,” whereby we can receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Wow! To neglect prayer is to neglect that package full of benefits and blessings but there is more. Prayer is God’s secret weapon. When you are praying, you are tapping into the greatest power in the universe and beyond, the power of Almighty God. That means when God’s people pray, there is more power than the deadliest terrorist organization, or the most powerful nation in the world. Remember the contrast of God’s power to that of the nations?
Isaiah 40:15 (ESV) — 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
Now considering that power and the responsibility you have as a believer to make intercession, let’s consider an illustration from the Old Testament.
Exodus 17:8–16 (ESV) — 8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner, 16 saying, “A hand upon the throne of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
Moses is the picture of a person making intercessory prayer on behalf of others. The New Testament uses the term “bearing one another’s burdens.”
Galatians 6:2 (ESV) — 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Moses lifting up the rod of God is comparable to us lifting our voices and our focus to God in prayer as David expressed:
Psalm 121:1–2 (ESV) — 1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
So where do Aaron and Hur fit in the picture of prayer? When you participate in a prayer meeting, you are helping to lift up the one who prays aloud as you pray with them. The New Testament expresses it as our adding “amen” to what is being said. Sometimes those amens are aloud and other times silent, but the thought is as one is praying aloud, we are praying in silence not as spectators but as “pray-ers” helping to lift the burden to the Lord. In other words, no sleeping while someone is interceding. Participation through intercession makes the prayer meeting as “one accord,” and here’s an account of what took place as a result.
Acts 1:14 (ESV) — 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Acts 2:1 (ESV) — 1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
Praying along in the “amen” mode brings our agreement and Jesus said that makes the difference.
Matthew 18:19–20 (ESV) — 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
So, are you neglecting God’s secret weapon, prayer? Have you forgotten the call we have to pray? Sure, it’s work, it’s a form of self-denial, but it’s not an option for a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Besides, it’s God’s sovereign means that He has designed to make changes. There are 3 options: you can participate in what He is doing, you can sit and just watch as a spectator, or you can wonder what is going on. Those who participate through prayer have the joy of the Lord as participants in His Kingdom. No wonder we have the admonition from our King to continue in pray no matter what.
Luke 18:1 (ESV) — 1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.