“And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out, and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God.” Exodus 2:23
Recently on Fox News, Mr. Bill O’Reilly asked Evangelist Franklin Graham what the church should do to help the persecuted Christians around the world. Graham’s response was, “We must pray for them.” In exasperation, O’Reilly blurted out that something more powerful must be done. He just didn’t know how much he revealed about his ignorance of the power of prayer.
Exodus is the story of God’s people led by a man who had come to the end of his rope. When Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, it looked like a victory march. Actually, it was the beginning of a prayer walk that would last the next 40 years.
Bondage prepared God’s people to be led. Exile prepared the leader. Prayer would bring them together. It was not always a happy marriage, but it was a powerful one.
Prayer is not answered because it flows from the heart with great emotion. Nor is prayer answered because of the decibel level it reaches. Prayer is answered when The Help arrives, not when the cry is made.
Answered prayer is a result of sending cries to the right Person. Tears alone are not the key to answered prayer. There will be no hope of relief if prayer is not pointed to the only One who can provide The Help.
In Exodus Moses became known as The Law Giver. A closer look at his track record reveals he was The Intercessor. The Law was a gift from God, but the book of James provides insight into the greatest legacy Moses would leave to The Kingdom.
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
Moses was a great leader because he was a great intercessor. This means he was always the man in the middle, never at the top. He stood between God and the children of Israel and prayed for God to help them, even when they didn’t deserve it.
Moses would entreat God to help His children not on the basis of their need, but in light of His character. This is the essence of hope and the key to answered prayer.
God is only waiting for intercessors to cry out to him for the needs of others. Still, He is waiting. He moves towards the sounds of His children crying to Him. The Father kneels down towards them, when they cry out to Him. The Psalmist understood this.
“Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to hear my cry!” Psalms 88:2
NOTE TO SELF: Your cries for help are not answered because you have the stamina to shout loud and long. Your prayers are answered because you are asking the right Person for help. You no longer lean on your own resources. You are no longer the man with the plan. You are the man with the pain in your heart. When you feel the pain of others, and bring it to God, you become an intercessor. You know you can do nothing on your own to help them. Turn to God as your first choice, not your last resort. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!