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A Call to Pray

Deuteronomy 9:18-19
“Then I lay prostrate before the LORD as before, for forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin that you had committed. … But the LORD listened to me that time also.”

Don’t overlook the wonderful allusion here to our Lord’s forty-day temptation in the wilderness where He emaciated Himself for our nourishment, thrusting Himself naked as it were against the piercing headwinds of hunger and thirst and demonic oppression so that we could be armored against these mortal foes in our own lives of faith. Gaze upon His passion once again through the vailed threads of this text, friend. See Him lying face down in the sands, in anguished prayer, bereaved of all fleshly comforts, pouring out His heart in mediatorial prayer for our salvation from the very sin that had cast Him there. Oh, how the river plunges into abundant and everlasting currents, drained from the heart of our King Who gave Himself up and cast Himself down and bled Himself dry for our beatitude. If we glean nothing else from Deuteronomy 7:13-19 than the severity of Christ’s redeeming love for us, we’ve seen all in all—the best of earthly pleasure and the foretaste of heavenly wonders.

But literally speaking, this is also about Moses, a man like you and me, who doesn’t have divine power to redeem this idolatrous horde. He can’t lift his staff in the air, thunder with Heaven’s voice, “Father, forgive them!”, and all will be done. There’s no marvel he can perform or motivational speech he can deliver that will change their stubborn hearts magically. Nevertheless, he can still thrust himself at the feet of mercy and stay on his face for hours, even days, in anguished prayer for his brethren. He can even refrain from taking care of his own basic needs in order to lift up their greater spiritual need, all in the presence of a Redeemer Who not only listens to His cry but inspires it.

Friend, what lost soul is the Spirit bringing to your mind even now? A spouse, a parent, a brother, a separated friend? I wonder: how much do you believe in God’s ability to bring about restoration? And how much will you give of yourself in the process?