The Power of Prevailing Prayer -- By: William J. McRae

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 08:2 (Winter 1999)
Article: The Power of Prevailing Prayer
Author: William J. McRae

The Power of Prevailing Prayer

William J. McRae1


The first leg of Israel’s journey from Egypt to Canaan brought them to Mt. Sinai. The route to the mount of God was a pathway of problems — five to be exact. Three were past:

1. The Bitter Waters of Marah (Ex. 15:22–27)

2. The Shortage of Food (Ex. 16)

3. The Lack of Water (Ex. 17:1–7)

Those first three episodes in their pilgrimage dealt with the basic needs of Israel — provision of food and drink in the desert. Now the fourth incident deals with the last fundamental necessity of survival. It is deliverance from their enemies.

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. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner; and he said, “The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation” (Ex. 17:8–16).2

The Source of the Problem (17:8)

Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim.

The Amalekites were a vicious fighting tribe of nomads who roamed the deserts of northern Sinai. They were the descendants of Amalek, the son of Edom, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:12).

The reason for Amalek’s challenge of Israel at this particular spot is not hard to find. Israel was encamped at Rephidim, which is very close to the fertile oasis of Wadi Feiran, the best land in the peninsula. The grazing in this peninsu...

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