By Aleta Kay
Exodus 17 gives us the account of a battle between Amalek and Joshua. Joshua was a soldier in God’s army. He was on the winning side as long as Moses held up his hands. When his hands got tired and dropped, the battle turned and Amalek and his army began to defeat Joshua and his army. Moses’s brother Aaron and his friend Hur went to the top of the hill to hold up Moses’s arms so Joshua and his army could defeat the Amalekites.
God already knew who was going to win the battle. If Aaron and Hur had not helped Moses God would have laid it on someone else’s heart to do it. But Aaron and Hur got the recognition for helping Moses, thus having a hand in the outcome of the battle. They received the blessing of cooperating with God.
Another example of how God hears prayer: When God was getting ready to destroy Sodom and Gommorah He first talked to Abraham. Abraham’s nephew, Lot and his family, lived in that area. Abraham was concerned about them so he pleaded with God to spare the city if God could find fifty righteous people in the city. God could not find fifty. Abraham asked again if God would destroy the city if there were forty-five righteous people. He kept bargaining with God down to ten people. God couldn’t even find ten righteous people in that whole area.
If Abraham had not pleaded with God on behalf of those people he would have missed the blessing of that fellowship with God, and he would not have had the privilege of pleading on behalf of his family.
A modern day account: I have a friend who has a nephew who was diagnosed with leukemia, brought on by a liver infection. The young man was not wild. He was not living a life of revelry and disobedience. He and his family attended church regularly. His parents and other family had a great deal of faith. The doctors had tried chemotherapy which did not work. They tried a variety of different drugs, all to no avail. I won’t go into all the details but it really opened my eyes as to all the energy that the family expends in just taking care of a cancer patient even when he or she is in the hospital. His mother posted repeated e-mails asking for prayer, stating that she was just too exhausted to do all the praying herself. She needed help. There were subsequent e-mails thanking people for their prayer support.
Will God’s will be accomplished without prayer? There is much debate about that. I do not believe we can change God’s mind because He sees all of time at once. It is already done. He knows ahead of time whether or not we will do what He asks, or whether He will do what we ask. The purpose of prayer is 1)for us to have fellowship with our heavenly Father, which He wants more than anything. It’s why He created us. 2)He wants to give us the opportunity to work with Him wherever He is working. If we say no He will raise up someone else to do the job. That person will get the blessing and the one who refuses the offer will miss the blessing.
God does not promise He will always do our will. Sometimes, no matter how right we think we are, no matter how much we pray and ask God to do a particular thing, He says no and we don’t get what we asked for. The usual response is to get mad at God, turn your back on Him, and take matters into your own hands. It means we think God doesn’t do what is best for the situation. We don’t trust His judgment. We react out of hurt and anger, forgetting that God sees the end from the beginning. We are instructed in the Lord’s model prayer to pray for God’s will to be done. Trust Him. He’s NEVER wrong.