our responsibilbity to hold our hands up—in prayer

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exodus 17

Whenever I think of this passage, I think of prayer. The staff of God Moses held up was a symbol and even sacramental means of authority from God, to see God’s will in his power carried out. I think of spiritual warfare for us today. We are in a battle, not against flesh and blood, but against the entities behind the evil in this world with nothing less in our hands (or more) than the gospel, God’s power for salvation to all who believe (Ephesians 6:10-20).

I also think of Job’s faithful intercession for his children. Surely such prayer on his part made a difference, though in the story we find in this life disaster decimated them all (Job 1). I also think of the place of responsibility Job had as the head of his family. In those days as the patriarch, men had authority. Nowadays I believe we all have authority in our Lord, men and women alike. So that this responsibility falls not only on the shoulders of the husband and father, but on the wife and mother, as well.

I am not a great pray-er. Someone has well said when it comes to prayer, we’re all and forever, beginners. Even so, we hopefully do make strides as beginners to grow in praying. I believe in all kinds of prayers, different ways of praying in the Spirit, including praying in tongues, liturgically, and as I most often do, with my own words. And perhaps silence can be one of the greatest ways of praying as well.

But simply to pray, to lift our staff of authority up before the Lord in prayer, pleading the power of the gospel over others for their salvation, whether they are believers or not. When we do so, even in all our weakness, God answers. Like Moses, we may indeed need an Aaron and Hur to help us. Others who will join in the spiritual battle. But as those who have been put into special relationship with others (I am thinking now of our progeny, whether in our families, or spiritual families), we need to keep after it, to simply keep praying. Otherwise, as Samuel pointed out, we will be sinning in our failure to do so (1 Samuel 12).

A great responsibility as well as a wonderful opportunity in and through Jesus.