The next prayer is also from the book of Exodus and was uttered by Moses.
There is a story told of a nurse named Clara Barton. She nursed those who were dying on the battlefield of Antietam. One night while she was walking through the barn where those who had been wounded were kept, she came across an injured boy. She heard him gasp “Shall I die alone… here…in the dark?” Clara brought in thirty lanterns and placed them around the boy. The youngster took the nurse’s hand and said, “Oh, I won’t die alone now. I can see you.”
Did you know that there is POWER in presence? The presence of Clara Barton brought hope to the striken men of the Civil War. Moses also knew about the power of presence. As a man, Moses sought after the Presence of one who would spell the difference between life and death. He knew that if God was not with Israel, all was hopeless. Therefore Moses said, If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.
Moses prayer in Exodus 33:12-23 is very appropriate for us today.
One day Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” The LORD replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The LORD continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
As we are led through our own personal wilderness toward the Promised Land, we need the guiding Presence of our eternal Lord. He is not hiding from us but is there–an “ever-present help in the time of trouble.” God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalms 46:1 NLT) David, the psalmists says that even if the world ends, we need not to fear. In the face of utter destruction, David expressed a quiet confidence in God’s ability to save him. God is not merely a temporary retreat; he is our eternal refuge and can provide strength in any circumstance.
This would be a good moment to point out something special about Moses’ interactions with God. Exodus 33:11 reads “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” God and Moses talked back and forth with each other, just as friends do. How cool is that? Why did Moses find such favour with God? It certainly was not because he was a perfect, gifted or powerful man. Rather, it was because God chose Moses, and Moses in turn relied wholeheartedly on God’s wisdom and direction. Friendship with God was a true privilege for Moses, out of reach for the other Hebrews. But it is not out of reach for us today, Jesus called his disciples and all his followers his friends. John 15:15 ( I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.) He has called you to be his friends. Will you trust him as Moses did? #foodforthought
So to conclude from this prayer, we should all learn to pray for the Lord’s guiding presence. There is power in presence. God’s presence gives us hope to face tomorrow without fear.
P.S- the next post in this Walkthrough the Major Prayers in the bible will be posted on Wednesday. Stay tuned and feel free to send in your prayer requests on this link. All requests are kept confidential. 🙊