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Week 4 February 2024, Devotion Part 2

But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands… Exodus 17:12

At Rephidim, the faint and weary stragglers of every persuasion were attacked by Amalek. Moses, who shortly before passed to the front of the people to deal with a water crisis, now had to rush to the rear. After conferring military leadership on his aide Joshua, he hiked up a hill to watch and guide the battle with his hands raised in resolute prayer. What a joy to watch this harassed, robust man of faith go into action, motioning Aaron and Hur to use common sense and lend him their hands as his grew weary. How God must have delighted in responding to the vigilance of His faithful servant.

Prayer is neither engine nor caboose to move our freight of trustful expectation, but it is sturdy track laid across the rugged frontiers of our faith. It is the breath and heartbeat of our relationship with God. It is the vigorous exercise of friendship. It is the means by which we stay in love with God and each other.  (Part 2 of 2)

Comment:  Let’s talk “target praying.”  Both Peter’s stolen truck and the battle at Rephidim were targeted by God for a quick victory. Israel could have reached the Promised Land in 11 days, but wound up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.  They chose rebellion over relationship, making Moses and his God the constant targets of their wanton clamoring for the garlic, graves, or gods of Egypt. They exulted in the golden calf and reviled the manna.  Fast forward to the 20th century.  As thanks for spending weeks with my dying brother, I was given a lovely pearl and ruby pendant on a gold chain by a family member drawn to New Age religion.  While stepping out of my car at a deli, it slid off my neck and into my purse.  Back home, I realized the pendant was missing.  I meant to call the owner, but was too distracted with house guests.  Nine days later I awoke from a nap startled by a dream that impressed on me to call the deli right away. The woman who picked up the phone gasped audibly – before stammering that only minutes earlier a customer had picked up the pendant near the store entrance. Technically, it didn’t have a prayer that it would survive, but emerged without a scratch on it. God used this incident also to teach me about “target praying,” specifically to go after lost loved ones and friends still stumbling around in their wilderness of unbelief or make-believe, ignoring that the Canaan of Christ’s redemption is tantalizingly close. Knowing my love of the Old Testament, the Lord led me into 2 Kings 13:14-19, first to digest the historical context, then to personalize it under the Holy Spirit’s tutelage.  I was to open the East window of opportunity, where Jesus, the risen Savior appears as “Sun of righteousness.”  This stops the hankering for beating against closed doors.  As King, Jesus puts His hand on ours to aim “arrows of victory over Aram,” typifying the strongholds of darkness that have kept captive the people destined to rejoice in the Kingdom of Light.  It is paramount to heed Elisha’s warning: Stand your ground with the holy tenacity it takes to make all 5 or 6 faith arrows stick.  Rebuke the fatigue or waning enthusiasm that wants to quit at 3.  God sovereignly ordains the target and the time it takes to reach it.  We honor Him with our glad obedience and trust.  Exodus 17


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