The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.’

15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, ‘Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.’

We have spent much of this last week in this passage. Whenever I come back to it, I always feel it has something abidingly significant to say to the church about prayer. It stirs something very deep within me that I can’t always adequately put into words, but I know it’s important.

So let’s reprise the whole story before we move on, and here’s a final observation on it from Alec Motyer:

Jesus ‘ trembled in Gethsemane (Mark 14:33) and though stepping into the arena of extreme trial and suffering, never trembled again. The disciples slept in Gethsemane and never stopped trembling thereafter. Or, in better words, the Lord in Gethsemane made the place of trembling the place of prayer; they were called to prayer but refused the call. Without prayer nothing will bring victory. The essential battle is the battle for the secret place.’ (Emphasis mine).‘The message of Exodus’, p.163.

PRAYER: Lord, I confess that I admire the idea of prevailing prayer, and I have great respect for the intercessors I know (or have heard about); but I also know that prayer can be hard work and demanding to engage in. Help me to overcome my reticence, please, and enable me to seek you with all my heart.