Will Somebody Touch Heaven For Me?

Title: Will Somebody Touch Heaven For Me?

Bible Book: Exodus 17 : 8-16

Author: Sammy Burgess

Subject: Prayer; Intercession



Whether or not you are a boxing fan, names like Mohammed Ali; George Foreman; Mike Tyson, and Evander Holyfield will certainly conjure up pictures of big-fisted gladiators. C.D. Blalock is not as well known. But he did something in the ring that should make him the most famous boxer of all time.

In the 1930’s Blalock stepped into the ring to fight another boxer, but he really didn’t need another opponent; in one of the strangest moments in boxing history, Blalock took a huge uppercut at his rival, missed him, and ended up hitting himself right in the nose. He staggered and fell down totally out for the count. He became the only prize fighter to defeat himself by knockout.

As I read that story, I thought about the fact that there are many Christians just like C.D. Blalock. They are in the ring against the devil, or their flesh, or the world - but the devil doesn’t really need any help be-cause they keep knocking themselves out.

Now all of us are in some kind of battle.

(1) There are some who are in a fitness battle. They are not completely well physically; or emotionally well. It is a constant battle for them to even make it through a full day without some form a hurting in your body.

(2) There are some who are in a family battle. They are fighting for their marriage; fighting for their children. Once there was “peace” in their home; now their home has become a war-zone, or a constant struggle just to get along with one another.

(3) There are some who are in a financial battle. There are those who just can’t seem to get a handle on their money, and they are struggling to make it.

(4) There are those who are in a faithfulness battle. They have found it difficult in this point of their life to maintain a strong walk with the Lord.

Now, in order to win a battle, you must have the right weapon. In the story that we have before us, we are going to see that there was a fight going on and this was a fight to the finish. We are going to see that this fight wasn’t won by physical might, it was won with spiritual might.

In this story, we are going to discover that there was a “CALL TO ARMS”. The weapon used to win this war was PRAYER! I am afraid that we have too many Christians who are losing their battle instead of winning it. God has called us to be victors, not victims. So what I want to do in these next few moments is to have A CALL TO ARMS!

I want us to get back to using the weapon that will get us back on the winning track (if you have gotten off the winning track). Prayer is a powerful weapon, and we are going to discover that we need to band together as Christians to pray together so we can be victorious Christians and be a victorious Church.

I like what D.L. Moody said, “I’d rather be able to pray than be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.”

I want every individual to understand that “prayer” unleashes the Promises and Power of Heaven upon our lives. Prayer SHAKES things up; Prayer STIRS things up. Prayer unties the Hands of God in any situation and allows Him to work according to His Will. Real prayer gives a sinner hope of Heaven. Real prayer gives a Child of God hope for tomorrow. Real prayer frees God to do what He needs to do in your life.

I want you to think about something. It is wonderful to when a person prays. I believe that it is even greater when a group of people prays. When a congregation prays together, they see God do things as a group; and they see God do things in each life. PRAYER CHANGES THINGS! THINGS CHANGE WHEN WE PRAY! Matthew 18:19 states, “Again I say unto you, that if two shall agree together, as touching anything that they shall ask, IT SHALL BE DONE...” I want us to notice carefully in this story what Prayer can do for a person and for a Nation.

I. The Battle That Was Fought

Notice the word {17:8}- “THEN”. This is a little word that we should not overlook. Here before us beginning in {17:8-16} we see that Israel has come face to face with the Armies of Amalek. *These people were a constant thorn in the side of the Children of Israel. They prove their nature by conducting an unprovoked attack against the Israelites. But the word “THEN” speaks of the fact that it hadn’t always been this way for Israel. (I think of…)

A. The Past Blessings That Were Undeniable

Up until now several things had happened to the Jewish people. {First} there was a wall called the Red Sea that had brought them to a temporary halt. But God divided the Red Sea and allowed the Children of Israel to walk over on dry ground; delivering them from their Egyptian bondage.

Then they came to a place in the wilderness called “Marah”. It was an oasis of water and they were dying of thirst. When they tasted the waters, they discovered that the waters were bitter and undrinkable. But God put His finger in that water and turned it into the sweetest water on earth.

Then they came to a place called “Elim”. Here they were starving to death because they had no food. Again, God came through and began to rain down manna from heaven until their stomachs were full.

Here in the first section of {Exodus 17} we see that they came to the place called “Rephidim”. Again, we find that they were thirsty, but there was absolutely no water, bitter or sweet.

In 17:5,6 God told Moses to strike a rock in Horeb with his rod, and water would come forth. Moses obeyed the command of the Lord; and when he struck the rock, water came gushing forth, just as the Lord had promised. God had taken care of every step that Israel had taken. Wherever God led them, He made sure that they were taken care of.

As someone has said, “Where God guides, He always provides.”

But notice again the word “THEN”. This word not only speaks of the past blessings that were undeniable. (This word also speaks of…)

B. The Present Battle That Was Unavoidable

This word speaks of the fact that the Children of Israel were about to go into a battle that they could not avoid. Look at this verse carefully. {17:8}- “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim." *Now, I believe that it is important for us to know who “Amelek” really is.

General Douglas MacArthur once an article entitled, “Requisites for Military Success.”

“There are 4 ingredients necessary to win any battle. (1) Morale; (2) Strength; (3) Supply; (4) Knowledge of the enemy.” Of the last ingredient General MacArthur said, “The greater the knowledge of the enemy, the greater the potential of victory.”

I found out something interesting about Amelek in my study. Amelek was the grandson of Esau. Esau is known for being the man who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. So we see here that his descendants became the first Nation to oppose Israel after they left Egypt. In the Bible, “Amelek” represents “the flesh” - that sinful nature we are born with that causes us to do bad when we want to do good.

It is interesting to note that whenever you read about “Amelek”, he is always found inside the camp of Israel.

I have become more convinced that the greatest enemy of the Christian is not the devil, though he hates us and he tries to stop us from being the Christians we ought to be. I am becoming more convinced that “the flesh” has become a greater enemy to our lives than we will admit. You see, neither the world nor the devil can get to us except through “the flesh”.

Paul puts it this way in {Galatians 5:17}- “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Have you ever thought about the fact that there is no record that the Jews ever had to fight any battle in Egypt. But once they were delivered from bondage, the enemies begin to line up.

Let me teach you 2 lessons worth learning. (1) When you are born again - the battle begins. Now, keep in mind that not all the Christian life is filled with battles. Remember, we saw how God had blessed Israel from time to time.

Think for a moment about what happened when you got saved. You became an “heir” to all of the blessings of God. The Lord is our Blesser. He is filled with blessings and He fills His children with blessings.

But there is another important lesson that is worth learning. (2) BATTLE ALWAYS FOLLOWS BLESSINGS! This is a good thing. You see, God can use those battles to force us to trust the Giver rather than the gifts.

This leads me to make a tough statement. IT IS NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING TO FACE ENEMIES. (It is not a bad thing to have to fight battles.) - (It is not a bad thing to have to wage war.)

Fighting keeps you strong.

Fighting keeps you vigilant.

Fighting keeps you alert.

When you are in battle, remember something. It is God that allowed you to be where you are. But God hasn’t left you by yourself. He is there with you. When we look at this story, we see {The Battle That Is Fought!}

II. The Burden That Was Felt

Notice 17:9,10, “And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. {10}- So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.”

You may be wondering why Moses went to the top of the hill. Think about this. (1)- From the top of the hill he could get a better picture. (2)- He could get the best view. (3)- From the top of the hill, Moses could see all the battle. (4)- From the mountain, Moses could see the strength of his people, and he could see the weakness of his people.

But let me clue you in on something that I don’t want you to miss. (Here is the main theme of the story). MOSES REPRESENTS THE PRAYER WARRIOR! Moses is praying while Joshua is fighting.


Now, here is where the burden that Moses felt comes in. While Moses was praying, Joshua was fighting.

Dr. James Merritt made a statement, “If you pray, but you don’t go to war, you’re a fool. But if you go to war without praying, you’ll be a failure.”

I want you to understand that you cannot win in the valley unless you win on the mountaintop. *Weariness in Prayer means weakness in battle. WHERE THE BATTLE IS REALLY WON OR LOST IS IN PRAYER!

Moses went to the mountain with a heavy burden. He knew that Joshua was going to have his hands full while he was in battle. His burden drove him to pray. There was great need for prayer.

A. It Was An Important Prayer

Notice carefully {17:11}- “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hands, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hands, Amalek prevailed.”

The word “prevail” in the Hebrew language literally means “to be given strength” … “to increase strength.” Prayer not only blesses you - but it also strengthens you and the people you are praying for. (This is why it is so important that you pray for others.)

The burden that Moses felt was that he knew as long as he prayed - Joshua would be in full strength.

Notice the wording in {17:11}- “when Moses held up his hands, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hands, Amalek prevailed.”

This verse doesn’t say, “Joshua didn’t prevail.” We are told “WHEN HE LET DOWN HIS HANDS, AMALEK PREVAILED.”

You see, when you don’t pray - we not only weaken ourselves, we strengthen the enemy. When we don’t pray, we take strength from ourselves; strength that belongs to us, and we give strength to our enemy.

Listen carefully - Prayer is not just for defense - Prayer is meant for offense.

We read in Ephesians 6 that Paul tells us about the “Armor of God.” You will find that every single piece of the armor is for defense, except for 2. (1)- The Sword of the Spirit - which is the Word of God. (2)- PRAYER! {Ephesians 6:18}- “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

This prayer that Moses prayed was important because as long as he prayed, victory was won.

B. This Was An Intercessory Prayer

Moses was on the mountaintop praying for Joshua. But he didn’t go alone. According to {17:10} Aaron and Hur went with Moses. Joshua didn’t go into battle all by himself; and Moses didn’t have to go and pray all by himself.

When these men went to the mountaintop to pray, they were interceding for Joshua. But there is something interesting about these men I want you to notice. In fact, there is only one of these men that really encourage me.

We are told that while Moses was praying, his hands became weary and heavy and his hands couldn’t stay up. When that happened, there were 2 men who were there to intercede for Joshua and help their leader (Moses) as he prayed.

Joshua represents a great General.

The men that were in battle represent great soldiers.

Moses represents a great leader

Aaron represents a Great High Priest.

Hur was just an ordinary man.

The Bible has much to say about Joshua. The Bible has much to say about Moses. The Bible has much to say about Aaron. But we know very little about Hur. I want to go on record and say that Hur was just as important on that mountain praying for Joshua as Moses and Aaron.

Hur represents the lay person in the Church. He represents the one that is not found teaching a Sunday School Class, just a class member. Hur represents the one not found in the choir singing, just a member enjoying good music. Hur represents those unsung heroes in the Church. He represents those who will just take their place to pray!

Let me illustrate it this way. Moses is the leader that God called to lead Israel. I am the Pastor that God has called to lead this Church. Aaron is found beside his leader, Moses. I have my Aaron’s standing on one side of me, supporting me.

Let me explain to you why I believe that this Church is on the right track. I have had some Aaron’s calling me, helping me lift up my hands in prayer. Men that I haven’t heard from in a long time, call me and tell me that they were praying for me. (One man called me on Sunday afternoon at 5:40 pm. right before Church had started. I slipped in the side door with a heavy heart. He left me a voice-mail telling me that God had laid me on his heart. He wanted me to know that he was praying for me and lifting me up in his prayers.)

One Wednesday night before Church, I had a good Preacher friend of mine call me and tell me that he had just finished praying for me. God spoke to his heart and told him that I had a heavy heart. So he just stopped and prayed for me.

I want to Thank God for my Aaron’s. I want to Thank God for my preacher friends that still love me and are praying for me. BUT I AM AFRAID THAT MY HUR’S ARE DYING OUT! I am afraid that we don’t have as many lay people praying as they should.

The battle is still being fought. The war is still raging. The hands of a praying man are getting heavy. The support is getting weak. WE NEED MORE HUR’S! WE NEED MORE PRAYER WARRIORS!

Some thing hit me the other day as I was studying this passage of Scripture. Moses, Aaron and Hur didn’t go to the mountaintop to talk about the battle that Joshua was in. They went to the mountaintop to pray that Joshua would prevail in the battle that he was in.

I am afraid that our Churches across our Nation have too many Christians talking about other Christians instead of praying for them. They are in a battle, and they need our prayers. WE NEED MORE HUR’S!

We don’t need more Christians talking about problems; we need more Christians praying about the problems.

We don’t need more Christians talking about the people around them; we need more Christians praying for the people around them.

Moses didn’t need another burden on him; he needed help carrying the burden that he already had. This Church needs some people that will stand on one side of this Pastor, and some who will stand on the other side of this Pastor; help me hold up my hands in prayer that the enemy will be defeated. WE NEED MORE HUR’S!

You may be thinking; “Preacher; there isn’t much to ole Hur. He didn’t have a special position. He wasn’t a significant person.” *Hur reminds me of the song; “Little is much when God is in it.” WE NEED MORE HUR’S!

According to verse 12 Aaron and Hur stayed with Moses until the battle was over. Notice 17:13, “And Joshua discomfited Amelek and his people with the edge of the sword.”

I want you to know that the battle was won in the valley because the battle was won on the mountaintop. One won the battle in the prayer closet - the other won on the field of battle. Both were accomplished because it was done through the Power to Almighty God.

I can imagine what was going on after the battle was over with. Everyone was patting Joshua on the back, telling what a great job he did. I can imagine as the soldiers embraced their main leader Moses and told him that they appreciated his support.

Over in the corner was Hur. No one around him; no one patting him on the back; no one was thanking him for going to the mountaintop. But that was alright with Hur. For you see, *Hur knew that his job of praying wouldn’t be recognized, but it would be worth it.

All Hur wanted was for his people to experience victory. He didn’t care who got the credit. More than likely, Hur just bowed his head and thanked his God for giving the victory. WE NEED MORE HUR’S!

Thus far we have considered:

The Battle That Was Fought!

The Burden That Was Felt!

III. The Banner That Was Formed

Notice 17:14, 15. This is the first time in Scripture we are ever told that God ever told anyone to write anything down. God wanted this account written down because He wanted to make it clear that VICTORY CAME FROM HIM. Joshua fought; Moses prayed - BUT IT WAS GOD THAT GAVE THE VICTORY!

This “Banner” that was formed teaches us 2 very important truths that will help us in the days that lie ahead of us.

A. Victory Was Precious

God told Moses to build an alter and call it “Jehovah-nissi”. This Name that God gives of Himself means “The Lord is my banner”. This was a visible reminder to Israel that Victory was experienced because it was God who gave victory. They marched under the Banner of a Sovereign God.

The Hebrew word for “nissi” translated “banner” means “WARFLAG”. It is an Emblem of victory that flies after the battle is fought and the battle is won. They enjoyed the blessings of victory - but only God got the Praise for victory.

B. Victory Is Promised

In 17:16 God reminded them that this was not going to be the last battle with the Amelekites. Saul had to fight the Amelekites; David had to fight the Amelekites.

By the way, you and I have to fight Amelek. Amelek represents “the flesh”. We will never be finished battling “the flesh” until we get to Heaven. But just as Joshua prevailed over Amelek - you and I are promised victory over “the flesh”.

Amelek was no match for Jehovah-nissi; and “the flesh” is no match for Jesus, the One who lives within us.


I make A CALL TO ARMS! We need some Prayer Warriors. We need some people who will pray. We need some people who will band together; get alone with God and pray. We need some prayer warriors that will touch heaven for others; for this Church; for other Christians; for families.

I read a story about a Missionary that was on furlough that told a remarkable story that happened in his life. Listen carefully to the following story. While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.

On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital. Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said; “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp over-night. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 guards.”

At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said; “No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My 5 friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.”

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the Missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened. The Missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story.

“On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go to play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong that I called men in the Church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?”

The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The Missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw - THERE WERE 26 MEN WHO STOOD UP!

I want you to know we need more Hurs! We need more people who will listen and obey God when it comes to praying for your Pastor; your Deacons; your Sunday School Teachers; your brothers and sisters in Christ; lost loved ones. May God find us standing up and being counted for when it comes to praying. THERE IS A CALL TO ARMS!

Let me ask you a question: Will Somebody Touch Heaven For Me?

Posted in


Scroll to Top