But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
Exodus 17:12 ESV
In the above portion of Scripture, God had given Moses the responsibility of watching a battle while holding the staff of God in his hand. As the battle progressed, it soon became evident that whenever Moses’ his hands were lifted up, Israel would prevail; yet whenever his hands were down, the Amalekites would prevail. It was then Moses knew God wanted him to do more than just hold the staff; He wanted Moses to keep his hands raised as a banner. For God indeed is our banner.
Nevertheless, even though Moses knew what he was supposed to do and desired to do it, his human strength began to fail; his arms became weary. Aaron and Hur, noticing this, immediately sprang into action. Their action, however, was calculated; and I’m sure there were some onlookers who may have thought their action wasn’t much action at all. For Aaron and Hur did not offer to take the staff away from Moses. Aaron didn’t say, “Hey, Moses, let me hold that staff for a few minutes.” Neither did they offer to go assist in the fighting. Hur didn’t offer to go down and tell the Israelites to fight harder because Moses was getting tired. No. Instead they provided a place to sit and the support for his arms. I personally believe they chose to support Moses rather than completely relieve him because they knew that it was not God’s will for them to take the struggle away from Moses; they knew God desired them to support Moses through it.
And this is how I view prayer.
Prayer is the most powerful inactive thing we can do.
Because prayer is anything but inactive.
Sometimes we as believers mistakenly view prayer as the last resort or the thing to do when there’s nothing else to do. When we see someone in the midst of a battle, we often want to jump in and fight with them and for them. We want to take up their cross and make it our own. We want to take that staff away and hold it ourselves for a little while. But that is often not even close to the solution. For oftentimes God does not want us to take on the fight physically for those we love. He wants us to take it on spiritually; He wants us to pray them through it.
And we must remember prayer is powerful–infinitely more powerful than anything we could physically do. As James 5:16 reminds us, “The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]” (AMP). Prayer has the power to do much more than our human hands and feet could ever do–because prayer invites God to work in His way to make steady those weary arms and aching feet of the ones who serve Him. Prayer invites God to use His hands in ways our hands could never fathom.
Now do not misunderstand me. We are called to be God’s hands and feet. We are called to feed the hungry, to help the poor, and to offer help to those in need. As James reminds us “If a brother or sister is without [adequate] clothing and lacks [enough] food for each day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace [with my blessing], [keep] warm and feed yourselves,” but he does not give them the necessities for the body, what good does that do? (James 2:15-16).
However, what we are not called to do is make someone else’s burden our own. God does not call us to take on everyone else’s problems; He calls us to support them through them.
And prayer is the key. Prayer should not be the last resort; it should be the first step we take. For prayer is the key that unlocks heaven’s gates. Prayer opens the door for God to move.
Remember this today: prayer provides. It provides hope. It provides comfort. It provides strength. It provides the answer. It provides it all because it accesses the Lord of all–the one “who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6).
So I encourage you today to pray. Pray to the One who knows all and is in all. Pray. Pray for strength. Pray for peace. Pray for power. Pray for provision. Pray for wisdom. Pray. Do as Jesus encourages us to do: Ask and keep on asking…seek and keep on seeking…knock and keep on knocking. For as you do, as you stop doing in your own strength and ask Him to use His, you can know for certain you will receive, you will find, and the door will be opened. It will. Trust Him. For He promises “…everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
And God always keeps His promises. Always.