WHEN MOSES PRAYS, GOD LISTENS

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TEXT: Deuteronomy 9:16-26

INTRODUCTION:

Moses is a central figure in the Old Testament. He is perhaps one of the most known Bible characters, and his influence was great and long lasting. Moses had a great list of credentials a mile long. His résumé would have been outstanding. He spent years in Egypt studying the cultures of the world. He was very high up politically in Egypt and he was not even an Egyptian. Moses led the people is Israel out of bondage in Egypt, and the list goes on and on regarding Moses’ accomplishment. Above all those accomplishments and credentials the thing that sticks out the most to me was that Moses was a man of prayer. Not only was he a man of prayer, but God heard his prayer requests. Have you ever been fascinated in reading the Book of Exodus, Deuteronomy and so forth, especially reading the conversation of Moses with God?  That every time Moses would be talking to Him, His ears are attentive to Moses’ plea?

  • When Aaron and Miriam opposed Moses’ leadership and God struck Miriam, Moses’ sister with leprosy Moses prayed for her to be healed and the Lord healed her.
  • When the Israelites complained about the Manna that the Lord had given them the Lord sent fire that destroyed the outskirts of their camp, Moses prayed and the fire stopped.
  • When the Israelites asked the Lord for a leader to lead them back to Egypt the Lord got angry and was going to strike down the Israelites, Moses fell down before the Lord and prayed and God relented.
  • When the snakes were biting and killing the Israelites Moses prayed and the Lord made way for them to be healed.
  • When Moses came down from Mount Sinai and the Israelites were worshipping a golden calf the Lord became angry and said he would start over with just Moses, Moses prayed and the Lord changed His mind.

When Moses prayed God listened.

What made Moses so special in the eyes of the Lord that He heard and answered Moses’ prayers so often? How many of us would really like our prayers answered?  There you go, all of us of course! But sometimes prayer can be a frustrating thing because you feel that we are not getting anywhere, and it is easy to become frustrated with God when he does not respond the way in which we would like for Him to. I do not think that in our life we will see every prayer we see answered the way in which we like, but I do think that we can have a more effective prayer life, and that God will answer our prayers sooner if we would first make sure that we are right in the eyes of the Lord.

Today, we are going to learn three reasons why God heard and answered Moses’ prayers.

1. MOSES LISTENED TO GOD.

I believe that there are many good reasons why God listened so well, but I believe the main reason why God listened to Moses and answered his prayers was because their relationship was two sided.  The truth of the matter is that the reason why God listened to Moses is because Moses first listened to God. Moses was an obedient man…he listened to God and obeyed Him. Moses and God have a great relationship; in fact there are not many other people besides Moses that God communicated in the way in which God did. We know that Moses and God had such great communication that God spoke to Moses face to face.

When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush and told Moses to go into Egypt and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, after some questioning of God, Moses went and obeyed God.

Moses lived among people who did not listen to God. Many times you read about the Israelites turning their backs on God and becoming disobedient to God. Moses was one of the only people who were faithful and obedient to God. Moses was the only one who did not worship false idols. When Moses came down from Sinai all the people were worshipping the golden calf, even Aaron Moses’ brother.

God listened to Moses because Moses first listened to God.

We all want our prayers to be heard and answered by God in the way in which Moses’ were. The truth is we can have our prayers answered in that way, and we can have that type of free and open communication with God. In fact the Bible teaches that through Jesus we can come directly into the throne room of God and petition him.

Illustration:

A missionary translator was struggling to find a word for obedience, but couldn’t.  One day he called his dog to him, and the dog came running. A national said, “Your dog was all ear.”  That gave the translator the word he needed for obedience – “to be all ear.”

If we would be obedient to God and listen to and do what His word says then I believe that when we speak to God he will listen and respond. God promises to hear the prayers of the righteous, he does not promise to hear the prayers of the unrighteous and the disobedient. Therefore, much of God’s response to our prayers depends on our faithfulness to God.

Illustration:

A little girl asked her girlfriend if she could go on a picnic with her.  “Just a minute.  I’ll go ask my mother.”  When she came back she told her that her mother told her she couldn’t go.  The other little girl then said, “Aw, you probably didn’t talk hard enough.  Don’t let your mother go at that.  Go beg her some and then she’ll probably let you go.”

“Oh, no,” she answered.  “When my mother says ‘no’ she doesn’t change her mind.  She knows what’s best for me, so I’ll do what she says.”

How much Christians should be like that – willing to take what God says, realizing that He knows what’s best for us! 

When Moses did not listen his prayers were hindered

I want to before I end this one point to through in one more idea. Moses truly was obedient to God, but there was an instance in which he disobeyed God. The people of Israel were grumbling because they needed water, so Moses went and prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered his prayer. God told Moses to go and speak to a rock and water would come forth from it. Moses approached the rock and struck the rock with his staff twice. Moses did not do what God told him to do so God had a punishment for Moses. God said that because of Moses’ disobedience he could not enter into the Promised Land.

In Deuteronomy 3:23-27, here is a time in which Moses spoke to the Lord and the Lord did not listen to Moses, and the reason was because Moses was disobedient to the Lord.

One point I am trying to convey is that our life and the way in which we live has an impact on our prayer life. Those who are living a double-life should not as James says expect anything from the Lord. The reason that God head Moses’ prayers was because Moses heard God’s commands and obeyed them and when he did not God did not answer what Moses wanted.

Illustration:

An aviation cadet on a practice flight was suddenly stricken with blindness.  Frantically, he contacted the control tower and told of his desperate plight.  His commanding officer radioed back, “Don’t be afraid, just do what I tell you!”  After being advised to keep circling the field until all was clear for a landing, the sightless pilot was instructed to begin losing altitude.  As the aircraft approached the runway, the officer’s voice called out encouragingly, “You’re coming in right on target!”  The cadet, giving unquestioning obedience to his commander, brought the plane down safely.

You want God to answer your prayers??? Obey His words, His commandments, His will…Because I would like to tell you that everything that He’ll ask from us is for our own good! Always remember that He will never make us do something that will put us to shameGUSTO MONG DINIDINIG NI LORD PRAYER MO…MATUTO TAYONG SUMUNOD

When we are living right with the Lord God will hear us when we speak to Him, but when our relationship with the Lord is not right He is not bound to answer our prayers the way we want him to. Moses was not some superman of faith, he had faults just like you and me, but nevertheless God heard and answered his prayers because he tried to obey the Lord the best he could. We can all be like Moses, but in order for the Lord to hear us when we speak we must first begin in our own lives, being obedient to the Lord.

2. MOSES WAS HUMBLE – Numbers 12:3

I believe that one reason why Moses had such a successful prayer life was because Moses was a humble man. He was not just a humble man, but the Bible tells us that he was the most humble man that ever lived.

I believe that humility is one of the most valued traits that a person can have, and I believe that the Bible teaches plainly the importance of humility in prayers.

God says in His Word that he opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. He says that he will lift up the humble; he says that those who humble themselves will be exalted. God values the humble and hears the prayers of the humble. I believe that is one of the reasons that God heard so clearly the prayers of Moses and I believe that is why God answered Moses’ prayers.

II Chronicles 7:14, did you notice how closely humility and prayer are linked?

We live in world which I puffed up with pride. I think that the sin that is most prevalent in the world not homosexuality, it is not drunkenness, it is the worship of self. That in our culture today, the most famous word is “I, me, myself.” 

We live in a world which teaches us that it is every man for himself. We live in a world that teaches us more is better and that those that have more are smarter and better. And sad to admit even in our prayers we tend to highlight those words to God!  Pride dominates our world and our culture, and God looks down at disgust at the pride of people. I believe that pride is the root of most sin. I think that there is a way for God to hear us like He heard Moses. I believe that answer is for us to humble ourselves and then pray, not in the reverse order.

We all want God to answer our prayers, maybe we need to realize that the problem is not with God, but the problem is with the one praying. If we want God to hear our prayers we must humble ourselves before Him and as he promises is Psalms he will hear the cry of the humble.

A lot of times people come before the Lord and came very pride filled expecting that they can demand things from God.

Quote:

“I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility.  I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his own opinion.  But really great men have a curious under-sense of powerlessness, feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them.” – John Ruskin

Why do you need to brag…why do you need to be lofty…that you and I know for a fact that our wisdom, our strength and even skills always fails! BAKIT KAILANGAN KANG MAGMATAAS, GAYUNG SINASABI NG BIBLIYA NA “APART FROM HIM WE HAVE NO GOOD THINGS!”  OH YES, WE’RE NOT DISCOUNTING THE FACT THAT YOU’RE INDEED TALENTED AND INTELIGENT…NO BODY IS TELLING YOU TO DENY THAT…BUT I WANT YOU TO LISTEN TO THIS: According to Fred Smith, “Humility is not denying the power you have. It is realizing that the power comes through you, not from you…” “Humility is not depreciation of ourselves, but appreciation of God!” MOSES NEVER RECITED HIS CREDENTIALS TO GOD…MOSES SIMPLY ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE IS NOTHING AND THAT GOD IS MORE THAN EVERYTHING!

The only time we can expect something from the Lord is when we come to Him humbly in the name of Jesus.

When Moses spoke God listened because Moses was a humble man. If you want God to hear you, you need to humble yourself before the Lord.

3. MOSES HAD FAITH – Hebrews 11:24-29

I believe that another reason in which God was so attentive to the prayers of Moses is because Moses was a man of faith. Moses not only lived a good life, but he had a faith in the God who was unseen, and since his faith was so strong he had the opportunity to see God face to face. Moses was a man of faith and because of that faith God heard his prayers.

We too if we want God to hear our prayers we must have a strong faith.

Faith in God

I believe that there are a lot of people who pray to God who have no faith that God even exists. I hear on Television all the time about unbelievers bargaining and making deals with God. God does not hear and answer the prayers of those who doubt that He exists. The Hebrew writer in another place tells us that we must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek after Him. We may be thinking sure I have faith with God, I believe that God exists, I come to church all the time. If you have a true faith in God then you will live in a certain way, you will do and not do certain things…BILIB KA BA SA PANGINOON MO?

Faith that God will answer — James 1:5-8

If you come to the Lord in prayer, you must come with faith that God will answer according to His will. God will answer you either, “yes”, “no”, or “wait”. We simply must have faith that God will answer us. If we go to the Lord and doubt we have no right to expect anything from the Lord. We should not doubt when we pray, because we are coming to the creator of the universe, He can do anything because the creator is superior to the created. I believe that Moses came to God and had faith that God will answer his prayers and He always did, even the one that Moses didn’t get his way in.

Illustration:

There was a man who was stuck on an island who was desperately looking for a boat to come by and rescue him. After many days praying and asking God to send a boat to rescue him, he sighted a boat and his hopes were lifted. He ran out on the beach took some shirts and waved them to get the attention of the boat. But they didn’t see his shirts signaling to them and went on by. He was so downhearted and so downcast he began to accuse God. “God, why didn’t you answer my prayer? God, why didn’t they see me?” As he walked back to the hut he had constructed, he saw that the hut had caught on fire and was going up in smoke. He said, “Now, God, what have you done? The boat passed by and missed me and the hut that I’m living in has burned down.” About that time he heard the boat coming back. When he was rescued he asked them, “Why did you come back? They said, well, we got your signal.” He said, “No, you didn’t get my signal. I waved my shirts until I was exhausted, you didn’t get my signal.” They said, “We saw the fire you built to let us know that you were there.”

Pray without doubting and God will hear your prayers. When Moses prayed God listened. When you pray God listens if you have faith in Him.

CONCLUSION:

If the Lord has not answered your prayers perhaps the problem was with you. I have tried to highlight why I think Moses was so successful in His prayer life. These are all essential to being able to communicate effectively with God, but it is by no means an exhaustive checklist for you to get something from God. There is much more involved and sometimes God does not answer our prayers the way we want him to, we simply must have faith that He knows what He is doing, sometimes it is hard to see that. When people die that we have prayed for, when we don’t get that job we have been praying about. When other prayer requests seem to go unanswered. Sometimes God does not respond the way in which we want, but he always answers in some fashion. Remember that all things work for the good of those that love the Lord.

The overall point I wanted to make is that there is a reason why God heard Moses’ prayers and that is because of the type of man that Moses was. Moses was a man of prayer, who had built a strong relationship with the Lord, which is why God heard Moses.

So I ask you, what type of person are you? Are your prayers being hindered because of the life you are living? Again this is not a sure fire checklist for answered prayer, ultimately the Lord is in control and He can answer us however He wants because He is God.

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