Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Contending for the Kingdom
Pastor Andy Murry
Exodus 17:8-16
God is all powerful and He could put an end to everything evil in the world all by Himself, but He chooses to use us to bring His kingdom to earth. God has always reached out to humans and sought relationship and partnership. God could have freed Israel by Himself, but He chose to reach out to Moses. He could have also rebuilt Jerusalem after the exile, but again He chose to reach out to men like Ezra and Nehemiah to accomplish His will. We can spend all day debating why God reaches out to us and never come to a satisfying conclusion. All we know is that He does. Just as God desired a working partnership with these great men of the Old Testament, He desires one with us too. There is so much in this world that is working against the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of darkness is alive and active in our world all of the time, and God is looking for men and women like us to rise up and fight against it. God is asking us to partner with Him in bringing His kingdom to earth. God is asking us to pray. God is asking us to go to war.

Exodus 17:8-16
While Joshua is fighting with the army on the ground, Moses is praying on top of the hill. The battle goes back and forth, but as long as he prays over the battle, Israel wins. God gave Israel the victory because of Moses’ prayers. God could have increased the numbers of Israelites, or sent fire to consume the Amalekites, or given the men of Israel super strength, but instead He worked through the prayer of His faithful servant.

Why did Moses pray?
Moses prayed because it was the only way Israel would gain victory. Moses knew that only with God’s providence could the battle be won. With prayer there was victory. When Moses’ physical strength failed, Israel was looking at defeat.

Why did Moses take Aaron and Hur?
Moses knew he couldn’t do it alone. If Moses had gone up on the hill by himself, Israel would have lost because Moses would have been physically unable to continue praying.

Jehovah Nissi
After the victory Moses built and altar and acknowledged God as the victor calling Him Jehovah Nissi (The Lord is my Banner). God won the battle for Israel and He would continue that war against Amalek until they were destroyed (1Sa 15; 30). If God is the one who grants victory and He can bring about that victory however He wants, why do we need to pray? God has chosen to use us and our prayers as part of His plan to advance His kingdom!

Why should we pray?
Ephesians 6:12 - It’s bad out there!

There is a struggle and it’s not physical. Life is hard, the world is evil, and the devil is trying to steal, kill and destroy everything good. We must pray for the same reason as Moses; there is no other way to see the kingdom of darkness pushed back and the kingdom of heaven go forth.

How do we pray?
• Persistently – Luke 11:5-9; 18:1-8
• Violently ­– Matthew 11:12; Colossians 4:12
• Together – Moses took Aaron and Hur with him

Our battles
• Prayer Shield list
• More than 2,500 teachers and school administrators
• More than 20,000 students
• Almost 500 city employees

Ways we can partner with NWC
• The Prayer Shield – Sign up on the website
• Intercessory Prayer – Wednesdays 7:00pm

1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers.

Discussion Questions
1. What spiritual battles do you see around you where you want God to intervene?
2. What things have kept you from consistently contending in prayer?
3. What things will you commit to pray for over this coming season?
4. Do you have some place you gather together with other believers and intercede for things beyond personal needs? If not, will you seek one out?

Return to Sermon Notes