Often time in life we face difficult moments; moments that are greater than us and they bring challenges in our lives that are to hard to overcome. In such times we go to God in prayer but how do we pray where we are sure that God hears us? How do we pray so that we can be certain that God is the one we must trust in? Well, let’s look at the text:
10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” 11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ 14 Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
This is an interesting text; those who go to church may have heard it before but we must be careful not to make the text say what we want it to say; we must never add to the text or take away from the text because Proverbs and Job warn us what can happen if we do that.
In the circumstance involved the Lord grew angry with Israel, so much so that He was ready to destroy the nation and start it over again with Moses. Notice how Moses prayed! Moses didn’t pray with the attitude that he had power. He didn’t pray with the attitude of deserving anything. Moses didn’t say to God that in the name of Jesus I command this to happen nor did he say that I deserve this; even based on the promises. To say such a thing is in pride. James says, we have not because we ask not and often when we ask we ask amiss; to ask amiss often means we ask with the wrong heart or the wrong attitude; we are me focused and not God focused.
First, we you come to God you must believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him; Enoch preached this; this means that when you pray to God you must know that there is a God and that He values your prayers and has the ability to give you what you pray. In other words to pray you have to have faith that God can do what He says; this is also why God had the prophet Enoch say that without faith it is impossible to please God. Proverbs also says that the sacrifices of the wicked our an abomination but the prayers of the righteous are His delight so when you pray understand that God wants to hear your prayers and He wants you to talk to Him while understanding that He can act on your behalf as a father to a child. Jesus also reflects this in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus says if a child asks for fish will his father give him a stone; God knows what you need and He likes to hear to come to Him asking.
But when you pray there is a way to ask God for things; yes you can come to the Lord as a child to a father because the Lord is our Heavenly Father; or our Pater Noster; however God so you don’t just come to Him any old way; He is not your boy or your “homie”; He is still God. He is the God who destroyed the Assyrian army of 250000 soldiers in one day. He is the God who destroyed the Egyptian army in the Red Sea and did so not only effectively but as a result Egypt lost control of Canaan and it shifted the geopolitical structure of the Middle East; that’s why Joshua fought the Canaanites and not the Egyptians even though the Egyptians had fortresses in Canaan. He is the God who lives beyond time and is clothed in light; yet since He made time He chose for the love of you to step into time and called Him Jesus; as a result even though He was human He was still Christ all-powerful or Christ Pantocrator; that’s why the laws of humanity like time and death couldn’t overtake Jesus because He was from beyond time so the jurisdiction doesn’t apply.
For some of you who may be skeptical of God entering time and calling Himself Jesus consider this. If Spike Lee can make a movie, direct it, and star in it; with his flaws; then surely God cal make time, direct and command it, and still call Himself Jesus and play a staring role in human history.
When you pray know that God hears you; He wants to heat you from you; He has the power to help you; you can speak to Him freely but you must respect who He is because He is God and Lord over all. Also, however notice Moses.
Moses came to the Lord correctly and considered God first; considered how God would look to the unbelievers so that the glory of God would be considered. Moses also considered and prayed the promises of God to the Lord; He reminded God about what He said. Notice, Moses didn’t just pray his desire; he didn’t just pray what he wanted; He submitted his will to God’s will; He submitted his desires to what God said and the purpose of the Great Commission even before the Great Commission was given by Jesus; how do we know this; its really simple; Moses said to God in his prayer; what will those who don’t believe you say if you destroy your own people. God’s word and His purpose to bring glory to Himself and saving souls must come first so to submit to that and what God says is key. Another thing that is key is that the promises of God must come true; Heaven and Earth will pass away before a single word will pass away so if God makes a promise in His word; then it is senseless to pray against it or expect God to not keep His promises; it is senseless to try to manipulate circumstances to get around what God says. Proverbs says that there is no wisdom, council or understanding against the Lord. If you want a prayer not to be answered then pray against what God has commanded. But if you want you prayers answered submit your will to God’s will and commandments and then with a humble heart pray what you desire but put what God says first because God will honor His will. If you bend your will to the will of God then God won’t just hear you; but He will hear His promises and see your humility when He searches your heart and if your desires fit what God promises; then God will respect your prayers.
Lastly, there are some who believe that God can change His mind and they use this text to hold a false belief; but you need to know the truth; that God doesn’t have a reason to change His mind because he already knows what will happen in advance. God knows the future so when you know the future you plan in advance for what is to come so you don’t have to change anything for He is beyond time and is not affected by space and time; nor the passage of time; God made the speed of light, and every other law. God shows this repeatedly in the scriptures. However for the sake of argument; let me show this fact about the Lord so you can move closer to Him. Yet, even though the Lord did spare Israel we must remember that God also wiped out that generation of Israel and they wondered in the desert for 40 years. God still followed His course in many ways; God never changes His mind but He will amend circumstances for us when we prayer and approach Him the right way and He will move.
- The Struggle with Jesus Lordship (ptl2010.com)
- Acts 7-8 (mybiblereadingplan.wordpress.com)
- The Revelation of Intercession (dominicanablog.com)
- Mustard Seed Faith… (khrystleraineduste.wordpress.com)
- For God’s Glory Alone we go forth into all of the world………. (deweymoede.wordpress.com)
- Sermon: In the Wilderness (grantspasschurchofchrist.com)
- Keeping the light on (jillcobb.wordpress.com)
- A reflection of prayer (pjgracecommunity.wordpress.com)
- Part of My Everyday Prayer (asinnerslist.wordpress.com)
- Morning Prayer ~ October 19, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)