I love to pray for others. I really do. I love it when they share specific requests that I can bathe in prayer. Hearing the praises delights me.
It’s a little harder, though, to turn that around. I don’t want to come across as whiney or as a complainer when sharing a request for myself with someone else. Even though I do not hear their requests that way, for some reason I feel that must be how they hear mine.
But the truth is that there is something beautiful about being on both sides of the help. I see that clearly when I read a story in Exodus 17.
Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Joshua needed the prayer support. No one doubted that. Moses was the great man of God. No one doubted that his prayers would reach the ears of God. And at that time, that was a big deal. After the fall, man no longer had the direct ear of God. The Holy Spirit did not remain upon every Israelite. Only certain people were privileged to have that direct connection. Moses was one of the few.
But what is most beautiful is that even Moses needed help in this endeavor. He could not do it on his own. He needed the help of Aaron and Hur.
Because we look back to the cross instead of anticipating it, we all have the same direct connection to God that Moses did. But we have something else in common with him. We need help.
How often do we seek that help? How often do we offer it? It is often easier to be Aaron and Hur to someone else, but we also need to remember to allows others to be that help to us.
I have so much to learn about living in community with other believers. It is easy to forget that my personal, individual relationship with Christ is also bound up in a body of believers. I need those other believers. And they need me. Just as Joshua, Moses, Aaron, and Hur all contributed to the defeat of Amalek, so we must come together as a body to stand against our challenges and battles in this world.