One of the most helpful ways I’ve learned to pray is to listen, read, and observe the prayers of saints who walked with God. One such example is Moses in the book of Exodus. Moses faced similar challenges to today’s church leaders and I have found five aspects of his prayer in Exodus 33 an excellent outline for my own prayers.
To set the context, Moses has just been informed that God would send Israel to the Promised Land with the Lord’s angel going before them, but without God in their midst. Facing the prospect of moving forward without God’s leadership, Moses throws himself before God. As Moses pleads to God he shows us how we ought to pray as well. Moses prays for the Person, the Partiality, the Presence, the Plan, and the Power of God.
Moses Five-Fold Prayer
Moses desired to know the Person of God so he would receive the Partiality of God. A key phrase is found in verse 13, “Teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”
Moses knew he didn’t know enough to effectively lead the children of Israel. God had spoken to him face to face. If anyone knew God, it was Moses. Yet, his prayer revealed a desire to know more of the character, the heart, and the laws of God. Moses prayed that God would demonstrate his ways for the expressed purpose of knowing Him and as a consequence he would receive God’s favor. Moses knew the key to receiving God’s favor and blessing was knowledge of God. Moses unapologetically petitions God’s favor in leading the children of Israel.
Moses demonstrates that the prayers of church leaders presses to know God more, calls upon God to reveal himself more fully, and to grow in wisdom and knowledge of God so that he might find favor with God.
Moses desired God’s Presence so he would know God’s Plan. In verse 3 God said “I will not go with you.” Moses said to God, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
Essentially, Moses is saying I don’t want to do this alone and on my own strength. Moses want’s God to guarantee His presence, that when things got tough that God would be there. Presence infers guidance, help, and companionship. Moses wanted God’s Presence so he would know God’s Will and God’s Plan for every step of the journey to the Promised Land.
Moses demonstrates that the prayers of church leaders cry out for the guarantees of God’s Presence and God’s Plan as they lead and shepherd their churches.
Moses desired to see God’s Power. In verse 18 Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
The word glory sums up the Power and strength of God. Not only does Moses desire to know God, to receive his favor, to experience his presence, and to live in his plan but he desires to see God move in powerful ways.
Moses demonstrates that the prayers of church leaders plead for God to move in ways that are inexplicable apart from the miraculous Power of God.
Church leaders today are faced with incredibly complex challenges that require “much prayer.” Where do you start? Consider starting where Moses started, praying a simple but profound five-fold prayer:
Lord, teach me your ways. Grant me your favor. Guarantee me your presence. Let me know your plans. Reveal your glory and power.
Posted on December 19, 2017