“Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites…I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’ As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning” (Exodus 17:9, 11).
God sometimes teaches us in surprising ways. When Israel faced a serious military threat, Joshua and the army went out to fight, but Moses went up on a hillside to pray. When his praying hands were up, Israel was winning. But when they were down, the enemy was winning. Why, we may ask, would God allow his people to suffer defeat when there was no prayer? The answer is that God was teaching his people that he chooses to move in response to prayer and that he will not move without it. Though he is almighty, all-wise, and fully able to work without us, God chooses to work through our prayers. He calls us into a working partnership. We co-labor with him to accomplish his purposes. Things happen when we pray that won’t happen if we don’t pray.
Father, I give You praise for the wisdom of Your plan to govern the world through the prayers of Your people. Thank You for this amazing privilege that You have entrusted to me.
–Adapted from Love to Pray: A 40 Day Devotional for Developing Your Prayer Life by Alvin J. VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God as a rock of refuge, as a shelter, as a safe dwelling place (Ps. 31:3, 20). Give thanks that you have been rescued from forces in this world that would have overwhelmed your soul. Confess those times when you have paid little attention to the safety and refuge he offers. Commit yourself to remaining under the shadow of his protection. Ask God to shelter you this day.
Pray that God will be especially close to those Christians around the world who are imprisoned or persecuted for their faith. Ask that they may sense your prayers around them like a shelter and a cloak of protection.
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