“And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?”
Moses’ response in the verse above is a result of God telling him in verse 10, “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” Israel had committed the sin of building the golden calf and dancing around it naked while Moses was on the top of Sinai receiving the commandments from God. God’s anger was kindled because of how quickly Israel turned from Him, which resulted in God telling Moses that He was going to destroy Israel and make a great nation of him. Had not Moses interceded for Israel, Israel would have been destroyed.
One of the greatest needs in Christianity today is believers who have the ability to change the mind of God. The need for intercessory prayer is one of the greatest needs of this day. When you look at Moses’ intercessory prayer, that changed God’s mind, you will see some key elements needed in a prayer if you are going to change God’s mind.
First, you will never change God’s mind with selfish praying. God told Moses that He was going to make of him a great nation, but Moses was not interested in his name or how God’s action benefited him; rather, he was interested in how this action would affect God’s name. You will never change God’s mind in prayer if your prayers are about how you are affected instead of how God is affected. I’m afraid that too many believers would never have prayed like Moses had God made the same offer to them. Your heart is often exposed in your prayers as to whether it is self-absorbed or God-focused and altruistic. The greatest way to get your prayers answered is to take your eyes off how you are benefited and start praying for God’s benefit and others.
Second, you’ll never change God’s mind with a casual prayer life. I believe that one of the reasons Moses was able to change the mind of God was because he had just finished spending forty days in prayer with God. The hit-and-miss prayer life will always experience hit-and-miss blessings and answers. A casual prayer life will miss out on the greatest blessings of God. You will never find time to pray if you are looking for a convenient time to pray. You will only find time to pray when you inconvenience yourself and make time to pray. The reason most people have an inconsistent and powerless prayer life is because they never inconvenience themselves to shut everything down to pray. When you learn to spend time daily with God in prayer, you will find the ability to change God’s mind through prayer.
Third, you will never change God’s mind with a casual prayer. Moses “besought” God in prayer not to destroy Israel. “Besought” means to implore or plead. My friend, you will never find the ability to change God’s mind when your prayers lack passion or energy. You’ll see your prayers become effectual when they become a plea to God as if you are in a life or death situation.
Let me ask you, when is the last time you were able to change God’s mind in prayer? You will never be used greatly by God until you can change God’s mind in prayer. The greatest need of the preacher and believer today is to have a prayer life that can change God’s mind.