Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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OK, here's a quick sports quiz: How many men on a football team? Okay, I see that hand. Eleven? Yes, that's right! If it's the home team with the support of their fans on their field, someone said there are twelve players on the team. Oh, you won't find the twelfth man anywhere on the field. It's all those noisy fans cheering for the home team and trying to demoralize the opponent. In sports, those fans are literally called the twelfth man. There's one big reason at least why teams play to have the best season record so they can play at home during the playoffs. The twelfth man is a big part of that home field advantage. Those supporters never go on the field, but their influence; it helps every man there.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Power of Your Prayers."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Exodus 17. It's a true story out of the wilderness experiences of God's ancient people. Moses tells Joshua to go and fight the Amalekites who have ambushed them. In verse 9 he says, "I will stand on top of the hill. And as long as Moses held up his hands the Israelites were winning. But whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning."
The Bible says there were two men here who held up Moses' hands when he couldn't. And because of the symbolism of his upraised hands and what it really meant, which we'll look at in just a minute, it says here, "Joshua overcame the Amalekite army." What was this that was going on as Moses held up his hands? He explained it. He says, "Hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord."
That's what Moses was doing on the hill. He was fervently praying for God's warriors, and probably against the enemies of God's children. Moses was interceding on the hill. He was standing between God and God's warriors, bringing their need and their battle into the very Throne Room of Almighty God. Moses was like the twelfth man in football. He never set foot on the battlefield, but what he was doing was helping every person in the battle.
For me, this might be the most revealing passage in all the Bible as to what's actually going on when we are fervently praying for someone and praying against what the enemy is trying to do in their lives. Literally, when we are faithfully interceding for someone, they win. When we stop praying, they stop winning.
Which leads me to ask if you are the faithful prayer warrior for the members of your family, for some servants of God that He's laid on your heart, for your pastor, your church leaders? So often people will say, "Well, I guess all I can do is pray." What? All I can do is go into the very Throne Room of Almighty God and pray down His unbeatable power. All I can do is pray? There is no more powerful, no more decisive position you can play on God's team than being a prayer warrior.
And anyone can play that position anywhere: close by, far away, from a hospital bed, a nursing home, a prison cell, a room alone. Time after time I have been in situations where God's power seemed to suddenly flood in at that moment, overruling my weakness, overruling Satan's opposition, overruling impossible obstacles, discouragement, and I have seen miraculous results.
I've been on dark reservations where the battle is so intense with supernatural forces with a team of young Native Americans - our On Eagles' Wings team. And I've often said, "Lord, those people who said they'd pray for us; have them pray now." And we have seen incredible break-throughs. I know what's happening in those moments. I'm living the answers to somebody's prayers somewhere. Those people who promised to pray for us are making all the difference and actually deciding the outcome.
As you support God's home team from the stands of prayer, get excited about the decisive position you're playing. The victories are ultimately not just won by the warriors on the field, but by that prayer warrior on the hill.