prayer

Do you pray? If so, do you pray knowing that God hears you? Do you pray expecting that it means something and will make a difference?
Or, do you pray just because it’s what you’re supposed to do? Do you say your prayers because someone told you that’s what you should do, but you don’t actually believe it matters and has no bearing on anything God will or won’t do?

moses praying
You might want to read about how Moses’ prayer on Mt Sinai affected the actions of God. This occurs while Moses is on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from the Lord. Moses gets delayed in coming down the mountain, and Aaron and the Israelites get impatient and make their infamous golden calf to worship and bring sacrifices before. So God decides that he will pour out his wrath upon the people for blatantly ignoring His first commandment.

Wrath-Of-God
And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” The people have committed great sin, having worshipped their idol and turned their hearts back to Egypt who Yahweh had rescued them from. As St. Paul tells us, “For the wages of sin is death…” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬, God is going to give these Israelites exactly what they’ve earned by their own power.

moses-image
But Moses steps in and makes a request of Yahweh on their behalf – But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Moses begins to reason with God, asking why he’s giving up on his project with his own people. Shouldn’t he be able to complete it??
Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. What kind of glory to God would it be to bring these people out of bondage to Egypt just to destroy them in the wilderness?? Is that a good God, a great God, a loving God, they would ask? (Isn’t this what we still want to ask today?)

untitled
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” Moses then appeals to the promises made by Yahweh to the patriarchs. He has promised them descendants that will be multiplied as the stars of heaven. Would destroying these descendants be consistent with the promises made to those fathers?

the lord relented
Moses boldly has asked Yahweh to change his mind about harming his own covenant people. What was the response? And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

great god
We serve a God who can be prevailed upon by those who faithfully serve him. Just as parents respond to their children, so God the Father listens to His children. Children can ask for anything from their parents. Maybe the parents grant their request. Maybe they don’t. Whether they do or do not grant the request, it will be for a good reason. This is how our relationships with others should be, just as it is with our Father in heaven.

SONY DSC
We serve a great God, a God great enough to handle his affairs in real relationship with his creation. God’s nature, his identity, and purposes are unchanging. But how he deals with us as individual human beings is not. You might think this diminishes Him, but it does not. Just the opposite, He would be a far lesser God if He could not change his intentions when he sees that it’s appropriate. If he sees fit to deal with humanity in this way, how much greater does that make our relationship with Him?
Bring your requests to Him. Prayer matters.

man praying
“And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'” And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭32:9-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/exo.32.9-14.esv

John Lewis

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5 thoughts on “It Matters

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