The Work of Intercession (12 February 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

When the Israelites were at Rephidim, they were attacked by the Amalekites. So Moses told Joshua, “Have some men ready to attack the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on a hilltop, holding this walking stick that has the power of God.”

Joshua led the attack as Moses had commanded, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur stood on the hilltop. The Israelites out-fought the Amalekites as long as Moses held up his arms, but they started losing whenever he had to lower them. Finally, Moses was so tired that Aaron and Hur got a rock for him to sit on. Then they stood beside him and supported his arms in the same position until sunset. That’s how Joshua defeated the Amalekites.

Exodus 17: 8-13

Reflect:

The story of how the Israelite defeated the Amalekites is a vivid picture of the work of prayer; in this situation it literally involved the hard physical work of keeping arms in the air. Moses prayed hard and long on behalf of the Israelites and his prayers made all the difference to the way their history unfolded.

We will rarely be given insight into the full impact of our prayers, but time and time again we see in Scripture that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (from James 5:16). Praying for others can be costly, but we must persevere and as we do, our ‘muscles’ will get stronger.

Respond:

Lord God, forgive me for my lethargy and laziness in prayer. Give me the willingness and determination to pray, however hard it feels.

Midday Meditation:

“When we move from petition to intercession we are shifting our centre of gravity from our own needs to the needs and concerns of others. Intercessory Prayer is selfless prayer, even self-giving prayer…As priests, appointed and anointed by God, we have the honour of going before the Most High on behalf of others. This is not optional; it is a sacred obligation- and a precious privilege- of all who take up the yoke of Christ.”

(Richard Foster, Prayer)

Evening Reflection:

“There is nothing thrilling about a labouring person’s work, but it is the labouring person who makes the ideas of the genius possible. And it is the labouring saint who makes the ideas of his Master possible. When you labour at prayer, from God’s perspective there are always results.”

(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for his Highest)

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