The publisher of Dr. Herbert Lockyer’s book, All the Prayers of the Bible, suggests there are no fewer 650 prayers in Scripture with 450 recorded answers. Can you imagine if all of our prayers were recorded and later published for the world to read? I shudder at the thought!
We can be relatively sure that all of the prayers of great men and women in the Bible were not documented for posterity, but our heavenly Father obviously felt some were significant enough to be available throughout time and eternity. The prayer of Moses, recorded in Exodus 33, has always been very intriguing and inspiring for me.
Less than 40 days had passed since the Israelites pledged to keep the Law of God, given them at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:3). They had already broken the first two commandments with their worship of the golden calf. Moses interceded for forgiveness, and God relented from the threat of extermination. However, this friend of Yahweh would not be content until God was intimately present in his own life and in the lives of the people God had called him to lead.
In his face-to-face dialogue, Moses wisely used the Lord’s answers to become a platform for each succeeding request until he boldly asked:
“I pray You, show me Your glory!” (Exodus 33:18).
This called and anointed leader was desperate for a sign of God’s favor. After all, who wouldn’t want to see God’s glory? I suppose it depends on what happens when the heavy, weighty presence of God is manifested among us! The prophet Isaiah found himself keenly aware of his own depravity, humbling himself in repentance, and pleading for cleansing.
God knew what Moses really needed was the assurance of his heavenly Father’s goodness and mercy. All of a sudden, this was more important to him than any Promised Land he had ever imagined. Following his encounter with the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth (Exodus 34:6), Moses emerged a changed man. His solitude and personal worship led to an ability to mediate the very nature and presence of God to the people.
To do God’s work and miss God’s presence
is the wrong way to go.
To experience God’s presence and not fulfill His plan for your life
is the wrong place to stop.
The goodness of the Lord is what leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). He is the One who came to seek and to save those who are doomed for destruction. We might like to stay in this place near the Lord, hidden by His hand in the cleft of the rock, but He calls us to take up the mantle of ministry He has given us and become the visible evidence of His goodness to a hurting and broken world. Could the Holy Spirit be calling us to become part of the answer to our own prayers for a restoration of godliness in the body of Christ?
We challenge you to take a few moments to write a personal commitment to consistently seek the Lord for your family, church, and community.