God Chooses To Work Through Our Prayers
  By Alvin J. Vander Griend

    "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. For the full story read Exodus 17:8-16.)

    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. Without us, He won’t work.

    When God first taught me this important principle of prayer, it had a simple but pointed application for me. It was as if God said, "Alvin, when your children go to school each morning, they are heading into battle. If you as a parent keep your hands uplifted, they will be winning. But, if your praying hands come down, they will be losing." I have never forgotten that lesson.

    Since that time I have come to see that as church leaders and faithful Christians "lift up holy hands in prayer" (1 Timothy 2:8), the church grows strong and is able to break down the gates of hell. When believers in neighborhoods and workplaces lift up praying hands over those around them, the powers of darkness are pushed back.

    The most common testimony of Lighthouse keepers as they pray over neighborhoods is that of transformation. They speak of crack houses closing, crime rates falling, marriages being restored, families coming back together, and people being converted. What’s happening as God’s people pray over their neighborhoods is the same thing that happened as Moses prayed over the battlefield at Rephidim. The forces of evil go into retreat.

    What we need most for solving the problems in our society is not more money, more education, more ideas, books, or strategies. Our prime need is hands lifted up in prayer. "We can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer . . . can do anything God can do! When we pray, God works" (The Kneeling Christian). Where are your hands right now?

Reflect

    Where in God’s kingdom are people winning against the powers of darkness, because of your prayers? Are there places where they appear to be losing because there is little prayer?
   
What kinds of things do you think God might want to do on your street or at your place of work in response to your prayers?

Praise God for the wisdom of His plan to govern the world through the prayers of His people.
Ask
God to help you understand why your prayers are so important to Him.
Thank
God for honoring you by choosing to act in response to your prayers.
Commit
yourself to pray faithfully for family members, neighbors or co-workers so that God may work in response to your prayers.

    Stand outside your home or apartment. Look around. What is the evil one attempting to do in the lives of those who live near you? Lift your hands in prayer over this neighborhood (or at least visualize yourself doing it). Imagine God, in response to your prayers, moving to frustrate what the devil is attempting to do.

    From Love To Pray by Alvin J. Vander Griend. Copyright 2004. Used by permission.