What should you do when you are attacked? Verbally or otherwise? Putdowns and ridicule may be far from our minds, but more often than not we have no choice but to face these.
Israel, too, experienced such attacks. Take the Amalekites, for example: “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.” (Exodus 17:8, NIV2)
Do you know what brought them victory from these tormentors?
“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” (Exodus 17:11, NIV2)
This is so powerful! As long as Moses had his hands outstretched to heaven, Israel experienced victory over these insulting assaults! In other words, prayer is the solution to any kind of attack, verbal or otherwise! When we depend solely on God, such assaults become meaningless. After all, our loving Daddy will give us all the encouragement we need, and His peace will fill us to overflowing. This is guaranteed!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV2)
Notice that Moses eventually got tired of lifting his hands up to heaven. This is completely natural! What happens is a beautiful illustration of what the church can do for those who become discouraged: Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands while he sat on a stone! They lifted him up with encouragement and support, just as any of us who love our Heavenly Father would do to anyone in need! (See Exodus 17:12)
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV2)
The result is always as expected when we depend on our Heavenly Daddy: “So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (Exodus 17:13, NIV2). Prayer works, for God savours our relationship with Him. Nothing can faze us, not even our worst enemy, when our eyes are fixed on the Most High!
My family can vouch for this:
My wife and I were planning to visit Philadelphia at the end of July 2013. Some of her colleagues unintentionally brought us fear when they exclaimed: “You will die out there, camping in a tent trailer! You have no idea how hot and humid it is! We just got back from Boston, and we were miserable even in our hotel where we had air conditioning!”
At that time there truly was a heat wave all over that region, Southern Pennsylvania included. Temperatures were over 100 F (38 C), with 99% humidity! This led us to look for possible solutions to our potential dilemma, such as installing an air conditioning unit in our tent trailer, or buying another fan. This was a big mistake, however, for an air conditioner would cost us $1200, money we didn’t have, and the fan would hardly be effective in a heat wave! But perhaps the biggest mistake we made was in looking for our own solutions instead of approaching our Heavenly Daddy for directions! Doesn’t He, after all, have the solution to all of our problems?
It was a bit late when we repented of our doubt and approached God with our problem. We decided to proceed with our plan to go to Philadelphia with faith that God would somehow take care of us. Either he would help us adapt to the heat, or he would find another way. We could truly trust Him!
The day we left for Philadelphia, the heat wave snapped. Both the temperature and the humidity dropped to very comfortable levels and stayed there the entire time we were in Southern Pennsylvania. The weather was truly perfect: Daytime temperatures were not too hot and not too cold, and the temperatures dropped off at night so that we slept like babies. Thank you Lord!
Prayer works, after all! It all depends on who we decide to trust!
(To access the entire “Facing Unimaginable Odds” devotional series, please click here.)