Prayer can sometimes seem like a lone act where it’s just you and God. Sometimes though, we need to experience prayer in community as we join together with others to share and carry one another’s burdens.
In Exodus 17, the Israelites are attacked by the Amalekites. Moses tells Joshua to gather his fighting men to engage the enemy in battle while he went up to the top of the hill. Joshua obeyed Moses’ commands and went into battle. Moses, Aaron, and some guy named Hur went to the top of the hill and Moses raised his hands in prayer to God.
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.
Here’s what I believe this story is telling us about praying together with and for one another:
1) The outcome of the battle was directly linked to prayer.
God tells us in His Word that raising hands is a common prayer position (Psalm 63:4; 1Tim 2:8). While it may be common, it isn’t very comfortable. (In fact, while you read the rest of this post, try doing so with your hands raised over your head. Bonus points if you are in a public place.)
When Moses became tired and his hands began to lower, the Israelites started to lose the battle. The experience and skills of Joshua’s warriors didn’t matter. The number of Amalekites were inconsequential. The power of God is what mattered here and it is what matters today.
Too often we fail to bring our battles to the Lord or we fail to continue in prayer as the battle rages on around us. Don’t give up!
2) The battle belongs to the Lord.
You may be facing a variety of battles today. Don’t let the Enemy make you believe that you have to fight in your own strength or that the battle depends on you. Understand and believe that God is in control. He knows the outcome. He hears your cries. He knows what you need. He cares for you more than you could ever imagine.
3) We get to carry each other.
Jesus said, “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” (Matthew 18:19–20 MESSAGE)
When we share with one prayers of supplication and petition (praying for our own needs) and when we pray for one another with prayers of intercession (praying for other’s needs) we grow in fellowship and increase in love for one another… right alongside with Jesus. Imagine that! Who is helping you keep your hands raised to God in prayer? Your brothers and sisters in Christ and Jesus himself!!!
There are many times, seasons, and reasons that you might need your brothers and sisters to join and help you persevere in prayer:
– seasons of intense spiritual conflict
– in the midst of a reoccurring struggle
– while we wait on God’s response
– when we are spiritually exhausted
Moses experienced physical and spiritual fatigue when he lifted his hands to the Lord as he prayed over his people. Aaron and Hur were there beside him to help him when his own strength was not enough.
Just like these men, when we experience times where we feel tired and weak, exhausted emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, we can lean on one another to help us continue in prayer until the battle is won.
What prayer burdens are weighing you down today? Who can you partner with to pray for so that you can help to carry one another’s burdens?