The uplifted hands is emblematic of prayer.
Hear my supplications when I cry unto Thee, when I lift up my hands towards Thy holy oracle.
1 Timothy 2:8.
I will that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands which are unstained by anger and dissension.
The hands of Moses grew heavy. How soon our hands grow heavy. The Lord said – “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” We should never stop praying, we should never give up.
Note God’s provision for us. Aaron, Israel’s High Priest, speaks of Christ, our High Priest. Hur, whose name means “light”, represents the Holy Spirit.
God in His grace has fully provided for our every need.
We are supported on either side.
We are supported from heaven by our Great high Priest.
“And another angel, (who is Christ) came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to Him much incence, that He should offer it to God with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”
Not only does the Lord offer our prayers to God, but he adds the sweet fragrance of His unique perfections.
“To all our prayers and praises, Christ adds His sweet perfume.”
We are also supported on earth by the Holy Spirit.
“Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
To complete the picture, notice that Joshua defeated Amelek and his people with the edge of the sword. Verse 13.
The Sword speaks to us of the Holy Scriptures. See Hebrews 4:12.
We cannot conquer our enemies by prayer alone.
We need the Word as well – Note the Lord’s temptation in the wilderness.
“Thy word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.”
Supplicatory prayer – Implore – entreat – appeal to.
Intercessary prayer – intermediary – middle man – go between.
Numbers 14 Moses intercedes for Israel
Persistency in prayer.
We must wrestle like Jacob.
Pant like David.
Hope like Elijah.
Persist like Bartimaeas – like the Syrophenician woman.
We must cry with tears like the Lord Himself.
Joshua 10:12, 14
Prayer that produced a miracle.
Joshua’s prayer was a plea to god to arrest the natural order of the sun and moon during the battle of Gibeon.
As the day grew to a close, the enemies of God were not destroyed. More time and light was required to achieve victory.
At this point Joshua prayed to Almighty God “to make the sun stand still upon Gibeon, and stop the moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
The Lord heard the voice of man.
He changed the course of natural laws, the sun did not set, nor did the moon rise.
In the extended daylight Joshua and his men were able to defeat the enemies of God.
“The sun stood still for about a whole day.” The world’s longest day.
“There was no day like that, before it or after it.” Verse 14.
The Lord God Almighty answered the prayer of a man.
Prayer In World War 2
During W.W.2 when the defeated British Expeditionary Force reached the beaches of Dunkirk, they reached an impasse.
There lay the English Channel, some 30 miles of turbulent water, between them and the homeland. Furthermore, they were unprotected from the German Panzer divisions their navy and Air Force; all seemed lost.
Meanwhile, in Britain, National day of prayer were organized, men, women, and children crowded churches and prayed to God to deliver the trapped soldiers.
Prayer moved the hands of Him who controls the universe. The turbulent waters of the Channel became as calm as a lake; next came an unexpected mist that blanketed the scene, which greatly curtailed the activities of the enemy, and giving our troops a welcome respite.
Meanwhile in Britain every ship and boat, no matter the size sailed for France. These vessels were largely manned by volunteers. And under the cover of God’s provision the great evacuation of Dunkirk took place.
It was not the ships, planes, or guns that brought deliverance, it was the prayers of a beleugered nation that moved Almighty god to act on their behalf.
Jonathan Edward’s sermons had an overwhelming impact on those who heard them.
One in particular, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” moved hundreds to repentance and salvation.
In fact this single message helped to start the revival known as “The Great Awakening” 1734-1744.
From a human perspective, it seems incredible that such far-reaching results could come from one message.
Edward’s did not have a commanding voice.
Nor did he have an impressive pulpit manner.
He used few gestures.
He read his sermons from a manuscript.
Despite these human failings God’s Spirit moved mightily on the hearers.
Few people ever knew the spiritual preparations involved in that sermon.
For three days Edward’s had not eaten a mouthful of food.
For three nights he had not closed his eyes in sleep. He travailed in prayer.
He was heard to cry over and over again, “O Lord give me New England.”
When he arose from his knees to enter the pulpit, his face shown with the glory of God.
Even before he began to speak tremendous conviction fell upon his audience.
Elijah cried to God. 1 Kings 17
This is the first instance of resurrection from the dead in the O.T.
Elijah boldly confronted God.
He cried out his desperation
He had a very real encounter with God.
Are our prayers earnest, passionate, intense?
The Lord heard the urgent and compelling cry of Elijah.
The child’s soul returned to his body and he lived again.
Elijah was a man of like passions as we are.
Elijah was just an ordinary man.
He was affected by circumstances. He was similar in character-experience-feelings-nature. He had similar doubts.
“Then came Amalek to fight at Rephaduis” Ex 17
Why? Water Amalek came to Rephaduis to get the water.
The ensuring conflict would be one sided (David & Goliath) it was hopeless. Describe
Moses knew this and devised a plan to seek God’s help.
While Joshua and his men fought in the valley
Moses, with uplifted hands would evoke God’s help, in prayer, on the mountain.
Upheld hands – Israel prevailed
“Moses’s hands grew heavy”
At this point Aaron and Hur stepped into the scene and lifted up and supported Moses’ arms.
In a time of crisis Aaron and Hur centered into a partnership of prayer with Moses. The result of this was “victory”.
Let me now speak to you about what is probably the weakest area in our Christian lives. Our prayer life.
What do you k now about the uplifted hands?
1 Tim 2:8 “I will that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands. Heb 12:12
We are all good for instant prayers.
But intercessory prayer is foreign to most of us. Our hands soon get heavy and hang down.
To date—too busy—too tired. No break through
Supplicatory – Nellie Gourlay; Intercessory – Hudson Taylor’s mother
Partnership in prayer
Sisters sometimes talk about praying partners. Men seldom do. There is strength and victory in prayer partnership.
Amalik’s defeat. Paul and Silas prayed. The apostles in Acts 6:4; 4:31 Place was shaken.
No matter where we are God can hear us when we pray. See Sheet
There are instances when men prayed daily Ps. 5:3; Twice Ps 88:1; Thrice Ps 55:17; all night Luke 6:12; without ceasing 1 Thess 5:17
The practice of prayer:
No man is greater than his prayer life
Daniel – Jeremiah eleven times
Paul prayed night and day.
The believer who is weak in prayer is weak in emanating lifegiving forces
The corporate body of believers that is week in prayer usually is incompetent, lethargic and lacks the flow of lifegiving forces into the world around.
Men and women of prayer must be made of steel for they would be attacked by Satan even before they assail his kingdom of darkness.
May the Lord Himself teach us to pray. Luke 11:1- Luke 12
May we follow Paul’s injunction “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess 5:17
Samuel said, “God forbid that I should sin in ceasing to pray” 1 Sam 12:23
Let us pray for one another, especially those in the front line.
Partnerships in prayer:
Acts 1:14 – “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication. The women were there – Mary and Jesus family were there”.
Acts 2:1 – “On the day of Pentecost they were all with one accord in one place. The Upper Room 10 days …the result.
Acts 4:24 – “They lifted up their voices with one accord to the Lord.”
Acts 4:31 – “When they had prayed the place was shaking … they were filled with the Spirit … they spoke the Word with holiness.”
The Untapped Power Of Prayer
Many churches today are looking for better methods … while God is looking for better men.
What the church needs today is not more or better machinery … not new organization … not more novel methods.
The church needs more holy and obedient men and women.
The church does not need great organizers, but great agonizers. Men and women who are filled with the Holy Spirit … men and women of prayer… men and women mighty in prayer.
We must learn that the Spirit does not flow through methods, but through dedicated, consecrated men and women of prayer.
The Holy Spirit does not fill machinery, He fills clean, holy believers.
He does not anoint plans. He anoints men and women, holy men, men of prayer.
Story of Jonathan Edwards
Hezekiah-Josiah-Manassah 2 Chron 7:14 Acts 4:31
D. L. Moody said, “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”
Our movement. 1) “You need the Spirit.” “We will pray for you.” 2) Crusades in Britain
Lord Tennyson said, “More things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of.”
Joshua 10:12; Elijah – 1 Kings 17 “Prayer to the patriarchs and prophets was more than a recital of well-known and well-worn phrases. It was the outpouring of the heart. Philosophy … Power
Look at the power of prayer. Exodus 17
The uplifted hands of Moses … describe
Partnership in prayer … Aaron and Hur. Complete victory. Matt 12:19
How Powerful is Prayer!
From Acts 12 we learn that prayer is stronger than hand-cuffs, iron gates, and military guards.
The infant church is in dire straits.
James had been executed … Peter is imprisoned and is next for martyrdom.
The church had an emergency session to pray for Peter.
It was a desperate hour for them, reeling from the loss of James, to lose Peter would be a tragedy, so they met with one accord to intercede for Peter’s life.
“Prayer was made without ceasing” Describe – one accord.
Meanwhile in prison, Peter is sleeping, chained between two soldiers.
Guards stood at the cell door.
A massive iron gate barred the way to freedom.
Humanly speaking, escape was impossible.
Now watch how prayer releases God’s power and great difficulties become great victories.
While the believers were praying … the angel of God woke Peter … his chains fell off. He was told to dress. Omnipotent power at work.
The angel then led him from between the sleeping soldiers, past the unconscious guards at the cell door, across the courtyard, through the massive iron gate and out on to the street.
When Peter realized he was free, he rushed to the prayer meeting.
Describe the astonished church!!! Deliverance from the bandits.
Prayer is the believer’s greatest weapon. Mountainous difficulties disappear Matt 21:21, 22; Matt 7:7, 8
John tells us in Ch. 5 of his first Epistle something that many of us don’t know.
“This is the confidence with which we approach God: whenever we ask anything according to His will, we know that He hears us.
And we know also that we have whatever we have asked from Him!!
True prayer is inwrought by the Spirit. Rom 8:6-27
Then the obedient heart prays for the will of God to be done on earth. See sheet No. 3.
There is no limit as to what we can ask for. Ask what you will.
We can ask anything according to His will. See Eph 3:20. Able to do.
James gives us the secret of powerful praying. Ch. 5:16
He says that, “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
This means that, “the earnest, inwrought, energized prayer makes tremendous power available, dynamic, and mighty as God moves.” Amp. “Teach us to pray.”
What was the secret of the power of Elijah’s prayer.
Elijah knew the will of God for Israel. Judgement was coming. So he prayed “effectually”, that is he labored hard … he agonized. His effectual prayer had great efficacy, it was so powerful that God moved to respond.
His prayer was also “fervent.”
His whole being was boiling. Burning with a blazing zeal as he presented his petition to God.
“If you abide in Me, and My Word’s abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.”
“And whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.”
“If you have faith and doubt not you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also, if you shall say unto this mountain, “be removed,” and be cast into the midst of the sea, it shall be done.”
And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer BELIEVING you shall receive. Eph 3:20 Able to do exceedingly abundantly.
“Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.”
Everyone that asks receives, he that seeks find; to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
1 Peter 3:7
We should live considerately with them
We must honor them share with them the gift of life.
That your prayers be not hindered.
Let him ask in faith-confidence, never doubting.
1. “Arrested suns and tranquilled seas declare. To heaven and earth the omnipotence of prayer.”
2. President Eisenhower said to a large body of students at the close of a 40 minute speech, “Prayer is still the mightiest force in the world and when used by dedicated men and women nothing in the world is impossible.”
3. The Lord’s prayer.
In this most complete expression of Christ’s conception of prayer we can discern seven voices:
1. The voice of the Son – “Our Father which is in heaven”
2. The voice of the Saint – “hallowed by Thy name”
3. The voice of the Subject – “Thy kingdom come”
4. The voice of the Servant – “Thy will be done”
5. The voice of the Suppliant – “give us this day our daily bread”
6. The voice of the Sinner – “forgive our debts”
7. The voice of the Sojourner – “lead me not into temptation”
Mrs. Prayer Meeting died recently at the First Neglected Church on Worldly Avenue. She was born many years ago in the midst of great revivals. She was a strong, healthy child fed largely on testimony and spiritual holiness. She grew into world wide prominence and became one of the most influential members of the famous Church family. For a long time Sister Prayer Meeting has been in failing health, gradually wasting away. Her death was caused through lukewarmness and coldness of heart. Lack of spiritual food, coupled with lack of faith, shameless desertion and non-support were contributing causes of her death. Only a few were present at her last rites, sobbing over the memories of her past beauty and power. Carefully selected pall-bearers were asked to bear the remains tenderly away, but failed to appear. The body rests in the beautiful cemetery of Bygone Glories awaiting the summons from above.
No matter where we are God can hear us.
He heard Hagar in the wilderness.
Jonah in the depth of the sea.
Hezekiah in his bed.
David in a cave.
Peter on a boat and on the water.
The thief on the Cross.
Neither does time matter when we pray. God’s ear is ever open.
David prayed all day. Psalm 55:17
Daniel prayed at noon Daniel 6:10
Paul and Silas prayed at midnight Acts 16:25
Christ on occasion prayed all night Mark 1:35
Paul urges us to pray without ceasing 1 Thess 5:17
The only footprints on the sands of time, that will really last, are the ones made by knee-prints.
“Groanings that cannot be uttered”, are prayers that cannot be refused.
True prayer is not knowing the philosophy of prayer, but knowing its power.
Archimedes said, “Give me a lever and a place to rest it, and I will move the world.” We have the lever – PRAYER – we have a place to rest it … the omnipotent God. We can move the world.
Boldness in prayer – Abraham. Gen 18:22, 32
Elisha – “Open the eyes of this young man.”
Matt 17 The powerless disciples. “Why could not we cast him out?” Jesus said, “Because of your unbelief.” They did not have faith.
Faith the size of a mustard seed is all that’s required.
When faith, even this small is centered wholly upon God, believing He is able, mountains can be removed.
Mountainous difficulties can be miraculously removed.
“Nothing is impossible to those that believe.”
Most importantly, Elijah was a righteous man. He was right with God. He was cleansed – abiding – and obeying. Clean hands. Pure heart
Elijah’s prayer was a prayer of faith. It was believing prayer.
The miracle of changing established natural laws never occurred to him.
His energetic, blazing zeal leapt forward in faith, confident that his prayer would move the hand of Him who moves the universe.
Notice how real James makes this profound truth to us.
1. Elijah was “a man” just like ourselves. Gideon- (?) – Moses
2. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and God stopped the rain for three and a half years.
3. After three and a half years, he prayed again and God sent the rain.
Prayers sent to God with such zeal – emotion – and fervour takes heaven by storm and the blessings come flowing down.
Elijah prayed in his prayer – he did not say a prayer.
Neither did he shoot arrows into the vague expanse of air, he was specific. Lord stop the rain … Lord, send the rain. Archimedes
One of the reasons we do not see answers to our prayers is that we are not specific. We ask for nothing and we get what we ask for.
James, the Lord’s brother, practiced what he preached.
To the early church he was known as “Camel Knees”.
Dr. Alexander Whyte, says, that his knees were like the knees of a camel rather than the knees of a man. They were so hard, so worn, so stiff with kneeling in prayer.
This is the one who wrote, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
It is impossible to estimate the effects of the prayers of a righteous man.
The slender nerve of prayer can move the muscles of the Omnipotent.
Doctor Judson of Burma was a man of prayer. He single-handed impressed an Empire for Christ despite overwhelming opposition. He laid the foundation of God’s kingdom in imperishable granite.
Martin Boos spent hours, days, and often nights in lonely agonies of intercession. When he preached, his words were as flames of fire and the hearts of the people as grass.
A number of years ago God shook the Hebredes and sent a great revival, because the humble fisherman and crofters called a fast and held meetings for confession of sin and prayer. These humble believers waited on God with tear stained faces. They were physically and emotionally drained as they travailed in prayer. Eventually, the Spirit broke loose and flooded the islands with convicting power. Hundreds found Christ at this time.
The early believers met in one place in one accord. Acts 2
Each one was waiting for the Spirit.
They prayed in faith, believing that God would fulfill His promise and send the Holy Spirit.
After ten days of assailing the throne, God sent His Spirit and gave them supernatural power to live and witness despite overwhelming opposition.
What would happen if a number of us were to spend time together with one accord praying for the power of the Spirit?
Many of our present problems begin right here. Describe. No power.
The disciples were commanded by the Lord to wait in Jerusalem for the promised Spirit.
The Lord also said, “You will receive power after the Spirit is come upon you.”
The time has come when as intelligent believers we must recognize the principle of the difference between the indwelling of the Spirit at conversion and the filling of the Spirit for service.
Because of the misunderstanding of this truth and the unwillingness of some to accept we have a powerless church in the midst of a perishing world. “Not by human might or human power, but by the Spirit, etc.
Prayer is probably the weakest part of our spiritual life. Without prayer there is no power.
With many it is the most disappointing area.
Some say, “God never answers my prayer.” He seldom answers mine.
Prayer, at best, is a habit and a bore. Shocking.
Why has the joy thrill and stimulus gone out of prayer?
Why do the heavens seem as brass? There are various reasons.
1. An unharmonious relationship between husband and wife hinders answers to prayer 1 Peter 3:7.
2. Selfishness hinders answered prayer. James 4:3 “Ye ask and receive not, because you ask amiss that you may consumer it upon your lusts.”
3. An unforgiving spirit will hinder answers to prayer. Matt 5:22, 2? “Be reconciled to your brother.”
4. Unbelief will prevent answers to prayer. James 1:6, Heb. 11:6. Faith, no doubting. “He that comes to God must believe that He is God.”
5. Known sin will close the doors to answered prayer. “Behold the Lord’s arm is not shortened that it cannot save; neither is his ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your sins have separated you and God and your sins have hidden His face from you that he will not heart.” Isa 59:1, 2. Psa. 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
Before our prayer life can be effective and our relationship with God be harmonious we must ruthlessly judge sin --- confess it --- repent of it --- and forsake it. Heb 12: 14 Holiness.
If we do this sincerely and honestly, when we pray, we will pray in the Spirit and God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that we will not be able to contain.
Unbelief is the greatest deterrent to answered prayer, and to the manifestation of God’s power.
Mark 6:5, 6. “He marveled at their unbelief.”
This was said of the people of Nazareth --- His own city.
“He could not do mighty work in Nazareth, because of their unbelief.”
The Lord did a few minor miracles of healing --- this was according to their faith --- but He could not do miraculous miracles.
The Lord never visited Nazareth again … for them the harvest was past, the summer was ended.
By and large this is the condition of most assemblies today. We say prayers … we have little faith … in some instances there is unbelief; consequently, there is a great dearth --- famine --- and sometimes stagnation.
Because of the little faith some display, God in His sovereignty grants us some mercy drops, while denying us the showers of blessing. Most of us are like beggars groveling in the sands of time, depriving ourselves of God’s might blessing, because of our unbelief.
What is the remedy for this powerlessness, unfruitfulness, and malaise, so common among us?
Tell the story of Murray McCheyne.
We need tears of repentance --- confession of sin --- and effectual, fervent praying.
Note Elisha’s prayer, “Open the eyes of this young man.”