Tuesday, January 24, 2006

#30 Prayer + Power = Success

#30 Prayer + Power = Success
January 24, 2006
"As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning." (Exodus 17:11)

Amalek was a tribe of fierce nomads. According to Deuteronomy 25:18, they had attacked Israel from the rear, making a cowardly assault on the weary Israelites. They were later judged by God for this. This act of Moses holding up his hands is almost unanimously considered by commentators to be an act of prayer. This was an act of dependence on God that determined the outcome of the battle. It was also a public display of that dependence to all who witnessed it. "The battle which Israel fought with this foe possessed a typical significance in relation to all the future history of Israel. It [Israel] could not conquer by the sword alone, but could only gain the victory by the power of God, coming down from on high and obtained through prayer." (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the OT) And what a defeat it was! The Bible says that Joshua "overcame" the Amalekite army with the sword. This means literally that he mowed them down, prostrated them, disabled them. Prayer plus the power of God equaled success.

What is the battle that you are facing today? What "-ites" are attacking you from the rear? The sickness-ites? The wayward child-ites? The poverty-ites and their cousins the lack-ites? The divorce-ites? Maybe your own -ites of guilt, shame, fear or condemnation? Whatever the -ite, your prayer must meet God's power for you to win the battle and have tremendous victory.

We all know that the devil is a liar (John 8:44), but he is also a coward. Just as the Amalekites attacked from behind, so does Satan. He sneaks up on us to attack and take us by surprise. You know those words, "I never saw it coming"? That's how he operates. He prowls around like a roaring lion waiting to see who he can devour (1 Peter 5:8) and then he pounces. We get the bad report, the spouse says "it's over", the phone call comes from your child in jail, a job is lost. We certainly can't avoid these things happening. Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble (see John 16:33) but we can still win the battles. And prayer is our part of the equation. Remember prayer + power = success. Don't ever say, "there's nothing I can do." There certainly is...pray!

You can never be sure that God isn't right around the corner with the victory. I can't say for sure, but I would think that Abraham was praying pretty fiercely as he was walking up the mountain to sacrifice Isaac in prompt obedience to the Lord's word. Little did he know that at the very same time, a ram was being put in place on the other side of the mountain to be the sacrifice, instead of Isaac. When they reached the top of the mountain, Abraham's prayer, faith and obedience met God's power, mercy and love and Isaac was spared. "There in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns." (Genesis 22:13) You see, you never know what's happening on the other side of the mountain that you can't see.

Isaac "went out to the field one evening to meditate." (Read Genesis 24: 62-67) The Hebrew word for meditate, "suah", is usually translated "walk about," "pray," "wail," "lament," or "moan." He needed comforting after his mother Sarah's death. Little did he know that comfort was coming on a camel. Rebekah was on her way. All of a sudden, "he looked up and saw camels approaching." Rebekah would provide the comfort he needed. Comfort in the Hebrew means strength and staying power. The Bible tells us that she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. (Genesis 24: 67) You see, you never know when your camels are coming.

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Pray in the good times. Pray in the bad times. Make prayer like breathing. Pray all day long. David said that he prayed in the watches of the night. Replace worry with prayer. Be persistent in prayer (see Luke 18: 1-8). Let God's power meet your prayer and give you victory and success. Let your natural meet God's super and watch supernatural things begin to happen. That's the power that is in prayer. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16 KJV) You never know if there's a ram just around the corner or some camels right down the road.

Donna Schultz

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