My Dear Friend,
I pray that today’s devotional will encourage you to “tune in” with more confidence as you pray. As always, you are loved and you are missed!
Love in Christ Jesus,
“Pharaoh summoned Moses…‘Pray to the Lord, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.’ Moses replied, ‘When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord’s…Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land.” Exodus 9:27-33
“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” Psalm 134:2
“I desire then that in every place, people should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.” 1 Timothy 2:8
God often allows His people to endure periods of hardship, but then comes their deliverance. God’s people were being held in bondage until the Lord decided that enough was enough. The oppressors began to experience God’s judgment with lighting, thunder, and flooding. The worst thing was the hail, which was not only a danger to the people, but also destructive to their crops. Pharaoh begged Moses, “Make it stop!” Moses entreated the Lord by lifting his hands in prayer. When he did so, the thunder and hail stopped.
Why did Moses and other Israelite leaders (Cf. 1 Kings 8:22) raise their hands to pray? One might consider it a physical “reaching out,” a desire for more intense connection with the Lord to whom they prayed. While posture does not necessarily determine the efficacy of prayer, it is an indicator of how much of ourselves we are willing to give. For example, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you…My whole being longs for you…In your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63:1-4). Raising the hands in prayer can also assist in bringing our physical being into focus, which helps to filter out interference, making awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence stronger.
There is also the powerful metaphor of raised hands as “antennae.” Like a radio station, the Holy Spirit is continually “broadcasting,” 24 hours a day. The signal is always there, but there will be no reception unless we “tune in.” And even after tuning in to a favorite frequency, without the proper antenna, the signal will be weak and interrupted by many confusing interferences.
Finally, the psalmist instructed us to raise our hands “in the sanctuary.” But in these extraordinary times, we are being told to do many things at home that we normally would be doing in other places. Thankfully, the Apostle Paul tells us to lift holy hands, not only in the sanctuary, but also without anger and quarreling “in every place.” (1 Timothy 2:8) (Note the command to reject anger and quarreling, which are grave hindrances to prayer.)
Are you setting time aside each day to praise the Lord at home?
When was the last time you lifted your hands in prayer to the Lord? Was it when we were able to worship together in the sanctuary? Hopefully, it hasn’t been that long. Until we can meet again, I encourage you to stand against the “thunder and hail” of oppression by raising your hands as you pray, in every place – especially at home.