Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 153

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Moses continued...

Even though we might intercede on behalf of someone, and pray for someone, even though we might do as Moses did, and petition God on behalf of those who would speak evil of us, in His sovereign wisdom God might still choose to correct the individual and show them the error of their ways in a direct and forthright matter.

Miriam was not spared the punishment of God just because Moses prayed for her. For seven days the leprosy she was struck with manifested itself, and for seven days the entire Israelite camp knew that Miriam was under the judgment of God.

Granted, if Moses would not have prayed, Miriam’s leprosy might have been a permanent issue, but there is always consequence to our actions, our disobedience and our rebellion.

Another thing we can learn from the prayer of Moses is that it’s not wrong, selfish, or sinful to pray for ourselves.

Yes, Moses spent much time in prayer. Yes, Moses spent much time in intercession on behalf of God’s people, but he also prayed for himself, petitioning God to show him His way.

Exodus 33:13, “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

Moses didn’t pray for possessions, he did not pray for accolades, or glory, fame or position. Moses prayed for God to show him His way, that he might know God all the more, and find even greater grace in His sight.

Moses understood what many today simply fail to understand: our relationship with God is ever growing, maturing and expanding. Even though God had told Moses he had found grace in His sight already, and Moses reiterated this fact in his prayer, his one desire was for God’s way to be made known to him that he might find even more grace.

Moses desired to grow the intimacy, he desired to grow the relationship between himself and God, and he knew that the only way to do this was to know the way of the Lord and walk therein.

Even though we might be called to pray for others, and intercede on behalf of others, we cannot neglect ourselves, or our own spiritual wellbeing.

Yes, there is a danger in being consumed with praying for others to the point that we neglect our own walk, our own spiritual growth, our own relationship, and our own maturing in God. Moses was wise enough to understand that he could only serve God’s people if he himself continued to walk in the way of God. If perchance he ceased walking in the way of God, though he might continue to pray for the people and intercede on their behalf, God would no longer answer him because he would no longer be walking in the light.

If my own walk stagnates because I am too concerned with the walk of others, then somewhere along the way I have done something outside of God’s will. From a purely human perspective we might not see anything wrong with being consumed with our calling, but if it takes away from our relationship with God, then God sees something wrong with it.

Relationship comes first. It always has, and it always will. It is because the men and women of the Bible had an established relationship with God that He was able to use them in great and mighty ways. First they were men and women of prayer who knew God, and who loved God. It is out of that love and knowledge that obedience was birthed, and because obedience was birthed in them God was able to work glorious works through them.

There is much wisdom in the prayer Moses prayed for himself, as well as a real and visible dependency on God. Moses did not pray for God to show him the easiest way, the fastest way, the least troublesome way, or the most scenic way. Moses prayed for God to show him His way, for only in the way of God, only in obedience and subservience to Him will we walk surefootedly, possessing the knowledge that we are walking toward the right destination.

More often than not, when the way of the Lord gets difficult, or seems to require effort on our part, we tend to try and make our own way, find a circuitous route, and avoid the exertion required to follow the way of God.

We think ourselves wise in our own eyes, having of our own volition spared ourselves some sort of difficulty by forging our own path, not realizing that though the way of the Lord seemed difficult, there would also be a blessing and a grace along the way for those who walked it.

We get so caught up in following the way of a denomination or a certain preacher, and tragically, often even the way of the world, that we dismiss and disregard the way of the Lord thinking it irrelevant.

In the way of the Lord there is grace. In the way of the Lord there is mercy. In the way of the Lord there is peace, there is joy, and there is strength. No matter how good our own paths might seem to our own eyes, no matter how good the way of a denomination or a certain church might seem, if it is not in harmony with the way of the Lord, it will lead to ruination and despair.

May the cry of our heart be as that of Moses, ‘show me now Your way, that I may know You.’

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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