Prayer 556 - Week 5, Tuesday
Tuesday - Held Up in Prayer
Joshua 17: 10-13
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.
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.
Then 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.
Our spiritual lives may feel like a solo sport at times. But in this passage, God sends Moses on a spiritual task that requires the support of his community.
Who is in your spiritual community?
If you are struggling to think of who will battle with you in prayer during difficult seasons, pray and ask God to send you community (or help you to see the community that already surrounds you).
Notice how, when Moses gets tired he doesn't act tough and refuse the help. He doesn't deny his exhaustion.
How easy is it for you to ask for or accept help from those around you?
Community cannot be one-sided.
Can you pause this morning and ask God to show you the people around you who have tired arms and need your support?
Who can you intercede for in your morning prayer time?
how silently the wondrous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of God’s heaven.
I would be silent, now, and expectant,
That I might receive the gift I need,
That I might become the gift that others need.
Prayer is the most powerful thing we can do. When we pray together, we find increased strength. At the wake before his wife’s funeral, Tom Ladley told every person, “I Need your prayers.” Tom knows the source of his strength. I once heard this illustration. One ox can pull 1000 pounds, but when 2 oxen are yoked together they can pull 2500 pounds. There is a synergy that develops when we pray together. I remember seasons when we would gather to pray through the night in the sanctuary. A group of us would gather and often God’s Presence would fall on us. I remember one night when God led us to Isaiah’s words “Gates of Praise and Walls of Salvation”. Since that night, I have proclaimed those words when walking into Church. I remember gathering with the Youth Group for “Youth On The Mountaintop”. We lit a candle and played worship music and prayed through the night. In the morning before eating, we would go and pray in front of schools and governmental buildings . I believe as Amy pointed out a few days ago, we are still seeing the results of those prayers. Prayers prayed generations ago are still being answered. 556 has been an important part of our Lenten journey. This alone time allows for reflection. Sharing it with others increases the impact. Thank you to all who are sharing. You are like Aaron and Hur!!!!
Twice when my kidneys had reached the point of failure I have also reached the point where I needed help to hold my arms up in the battle. Both times I have been blessed by my church families and felt them holding up my arms when I could not. I also have friends who help me during the day today “skirmishes“ as they arise. I know the Lord knew that I needed help and I certainly was willing to except that help. One of the most precious instances to me was after my strokes last year. I have been praying for my family, Thomas, Hillary and Julia to come to know the Lord for a long time. And when I had the strokes last year Hillary would get on the phone with me and pray for me. She would constantly remind me to call out to Jesus whenever I felt like I did not know where I was or what was happening. This meant so much to me because I have been praying for them for so long to know Jesus, and here she was reminding me that Jesus loved me. I will never forget what she did for me when I was in need, and it reminds me that my prayers for her and the family are working.
As I woke up this morning I went to the phone and just couldn't wait to read 556. And so when it came up I decided to get ready and go down to my very quiet place down in Peebles Island where I love to just sit and pray. So as I did and before I started reading I sat here and listen to the birds and a beautiful woodpecker and just soaking up the surroundings of nature. And pray to my heavenly father to let me hear everything and bring down the Holy Spirit. I don't dwell in writing things that I am feeling because I don't want to sound foolish but I so have a lot inside my heart. There are many times when I am in such pain and feeling so depressed and alone that I call upon my heavenly father to help . I also know that there are a lot of people out there that are feeling the same way and I so want to be able to let them know that they are not alone and they are loved not only by our creator but by me and others as well. It is so hard when you feel like you were walking totally alone and then you remember that I'm those times , you are upon his shoulders. Everyone needs someone to hold them up and just to let them know that they are loved and cared for. Thank you so much for these beautiful messages every day .
For me, our small group on Wednesdays is this community that holds reach other up in prayer. We take turns being Aaron and Hur for each other, because really we're all Moses in our own lives. I love that now, thanks to the pandemic, we have added Susan H. to our group. She's always served as a prayer partner for me, supporting me through hard times, and I've done my best to support her through hard times. Now she can be part of our UCC community. And it's been great having Teri join us, too.
Hur is one of my favorite Bible characters. I don't really know anything about him, I don't ever know if he has any lines in any of the Exodus stories, but he shows up and supports. I hope to be like that-- holding people up whether anyone remembers me or not.
I love this verse. How often in the middle of “life” do we ever wish for someone to help keep our arms or “spirits” up when we seem to be continuously fighting a battle for our health, our kids, our marriage, our job ... whatever! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be virtually here among all of you when I felt like I was truly at the end of my spiritual rope. God threw me a lifeline through Pastor K and our social media connection. Each day, I feel blessed by the wisdom and grace you share in this journey together. I love the power of prayer and I pray for others every day! It’s a gift I can give freely and with great joy!