Praying with Raised Hands, Part 2

“I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” – Psalm 63:4

Moses is often most remembered for his burning bush experience, the parting of the Red Sea, and the giving of the Ten Commandments. However, a lesser-known story from Moses’ life in Exodus 17 provides a unique perspective into the character of this great man of God.

While the Israelites were camped at Rephidim, they were attacked by the Amalekites. As leader, Moses quickly formed a plan and ordered Joshua and his men to engage in the battle. Joshua did as Moses commanded, and while Israelites fought valiantly against their enemies, Moses was doing war on a different front. He stood on top of a hill, holding the staff of God in his hands, arms extended toward Heaven. The Bible says, “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning.” When Moses dropped his hands, though, the Amalekites were winning (Exodus 17:11).”

Moses’ first response when the enemy attacked was to pray. Moses acknowledged to God and everyone else that they needed help.However, Moses wasn’t the only one who ascended the hill that day. The Bible tells us he was accompanied by his brother, Aaron, and friend, Hur. Moses was wise enough to recognize that he needed other godly men to stand with him in such a pivotal moment of prayer.

As Moses fervently interceded for the Israelites with his hands raised high, his arms began to get tired. His shoulders and back muscles ached. When Aaron and Hur saw Moses struggling, they brought him a stone so he could sit on it. They also held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other. Aaron and Hur supported Moses during his time of weakness, which gave him the boost he needed to persevere in prayer. The Bible says that, as a result, Moses’ hands remained steady till sunset, and the Israelites overcame the Amalekites.

Moses was chosen by God, yet he didn’t try to carry the responsibilities of leadership on his own shoulders. He surrounded himself with people who would come alongside him and support his work in the Lord. Instead of having a stubborn, prideful, “I can do it myself” attitude, Moses humbly accepted assistance from other men.

Moses also clearly trusted God and believed in the power of prayer. When hardship came, he didn’t take matters into his own hands but sought the Lord for wisdom and favor.

What is your response when the enemy attacks? Do you run to the top of the hill, or do you retreat? Moses shows us what we should do:

  1. Run a place of prayer.
  2. Cry out to God with hands lifted high in praise and worship.
  3. Receive strength from the help of Christian brothers and sisters.

When Moses, Aaron, and Hur came down from the hill, they rejoiced for God had given them victory over their enemies. They saw the awesome power of God demonstrated in their situation as they looked to Him for deliverance. We can have the same experience in our lives if we follow their example.

Praying with Raised Hands, Part 1