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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

We Pray Wednesday: People of Prayer in the Bible: Moses

People of Prayer in the Bible: Moses
We read in the Bible about people who prayed and wish that when we pray, God would hear and answer as God did for them.  One of these is Moses.  Moses had a very unusual beginning and an incredible ending to his life.  Along the way, he had a one of a kind relationship with God.  We cannot be like Moses, but we can talk to the same God that Moses did, and He can answer our prayers just like Moses. 
1.  Moses had a relationship with God.
Many times, we talk to people concerning things that are not very meaningful and think that we have a relationship with them.  We see in Moses’ life that God spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend”.  Moses did not just go to God and ask God for something or for God to do something that he needed.  He actually listened to God when God spoke to him, more than he asked for things.  God called him at the burning bush, told him what to tell Pharaoh, told him to use the rod of God to part the Red Sea, and told him how to build the tabernacle.  In order to have a relationship as Moses did, we must LISTEN (through God’s Word) as much as we pray to Him.  A relationship must be one where you listen as well as talk.
2.  Moses asked God to forgive
After Moses went up Mt. Sinai to get the law of God, the children of Israel decided to make and worship a golden calf that Aaron helped to make.  After Moses went down the mountain and saw what they were doing, a natural reaction would be that he would tell God to punish them for their sin of worshiping a false god.  Instead, he asked God to turn away His wrath and to forgive them.  Do we pray for those who need God to forgive them of their sin so they will go to Heaven?  We should pray to God daily for lost friends and family that they would see the wonderful love of God and accept Him as their Savior.  Do we pray for God to forgive those that have wronged us?  Moses said, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”  Did you ever wonder what that dash means?  I think Moses knew God so well that he didn’t have to finish that statement.  God knew what he meant.  He also asked God to forgive them or take his name out of the book of life.  Are we that fervent in asking God to forgive others for their wrongs to us? 
3.  Moses entreated God.
Entreat means to go to one on the behalf of another.  Four times during the plagues of Egypt, Pharaoh asked Moses to entreat God for him.  We as Christians should entreat God for others that may not know God or may not even believe in God.  We can be a go-between for them to ask God on their behalf.  Notice that Pharaoh wanted God to stop his judgment and went to Moses for this.   We should ask God to stay His judgment on sinners or those who have come under the judgment of God.
4.  Moses taught others to pray.
During the life of Moses, we find three men that began to pray like Moses: Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua.  We should teach others to pray.  When you pray by yourself, whom are you teaching?  Does this mean we should always pray with others?  No, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, prayed in their hearing, and prayed alone to the Father. In addition to having a personal prayer life, we should share our burdens with others and pray together with them.  Others may be able to learn how to pray more effectively by listening to us pray.

5.  Moses prayed for specific things.
As Moses led the children of Israel to the Promised Land and through the wilderness, he had to ask God for water, food, healing for others, and even a way to make bitter water sweet.  Every time he asked God specifically for these things, God answered it specifically.  We too often ask God for help with our problems, but are not specific in what we want.  It is like a child asking their parent for food and being dissatisfied when they get fruit instead of cake.  If they had asked for cake they may have gotten it, but they just asked for food in general instead of cake specifically.
6.  Moses did not get all of his prayers answered in the way he wanted
Moses more than anything wanted to go into the Promised Land, but God told him NO.  Because of his disobedience to God concerning speaking to the rock instead of striking it, God told him that he would not lead the children of Israel into the Promise Land.  We somehow think that God only says yes to our request.  We go back to parents and children.  Do you always tell your kids yes?  Were you always told yes as a child?   Many times, we are asking God for something we do not need in our life or is against his will for our life.  He is not required to answer our prayers the way we want Him to answer them.  He knows what is best for us, and sometimes no is best for us.

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