5 Habits - Prayer #4

Welcome to Everyday Devotions. These daily Bible readings and Prayer Pathways are designed to help you go deeper with God each day in response to what you are hearing at the Everyday Church services and Life Group gatherings.

Thursday 16th January

In this week’s Everyday Devotions, we are learning several Prayer Pathways together – simple structures to help us marshal our thoughts and focus our prayers. The first pathway that we looked at was The Lord’s Prayer. Today, we will look at a second pathway. We are going to teach you The Moses Prayer.

Bible Meditation

Hebrews 8:1-5 & 9:1-5

1 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. 3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain’ …
1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover.

Moses built a Tabernacle in the desert as God directed him. The writer of Hebrews tells us that it served as a copy of a greater reality in heaven. The items that a priest encountered when coming to the Tabernacle therefore spoke of how we are to approach God in our prayers. Let’s look at each item in turn, then let’s learn to use The Moses Prayer as our second pathway.

The first thing that a priest encountered was the COURTYARD WALLS, made of white linen that spoke of God’s utter purity. The priest was reminded that the God who invites close is far too holy to be approached by sinful men and women.

Entering into the courtyard, the priest found himself face to face with a huge BRONZE ALTAR. This was where he offered blood sacrifices, enabling sinful men and women to find forgiveness and to approach God without fear of death.

Next, the priest proceeded to the BRONZE LAVER, a massive bath of water made of mirror-like bronze that reflected the worshipper’s face back to him. The priest was confronted by the reality of his own faults and failings, but he was also invited to wash them away with the water God had provided. This was a picture of sanctification, as God purifies our lives.

Next, the priest entered the Holy Place, the first of the two rooms in the tent known as the Tabernacle. He was getting close to God’s presence now, so the symbolism continued. THE LAMPSTAND AND THE TABLE on which the bread of the presence was placed spoke of the Spirit of God, burning brightly in his desire to come and fill us, and of the Word of God, laid out to feed our hearts every day.

Before entering the inner room of the Tabernacle, the priest came face to face with the golden ALTAR OF INCENSE. This was the place where he was invited to burn sticks of perfume, which represented how sweet the smell of our prayer and worship is to God (see Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4).

Finally, the priest entered the Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies, where THE ARK OF GOD’S PRESENCE was stored. Here the priest would stand in the manifest presence of God, enjoying him for who he is and deepening his outrageously imbalanced friendship with God. The Lord of all the universe wanted to spend time with him!

Prayer Pathway

Prayer for today:
So let’s use The Moses Prayer as our prayer pathway today. Use each of these items to fuel your conversation with God:

COURTYARD WALLS: Begin by confessing God’s greatness and total otherness to you. Worship him in his holiness.

BRONZE ALTAR: Confess your specific sins to God, thanking him that you are declared totally righteous by grace through the once-for-all blood sacrifice of Jesus.

BRONZE LAVER: Ask God to wash you and change you, filling you with the water of his Holy Spirit and yielding the fruit of the Spirit in your heart – the character described in Galatians 5:22-24.

TABLE AND LAMPSTAND: Thank God for his Word and for his Spirit. Pledge that you will live by both of them today, obeying God’s Word even when you disagree with it and following the Spirit’s promptings even when you are scared by them.

ALTAR OF INCENSE: Spend time worshipping God and bringing specific prayer requests to him for your friends, for your family, for your church and for your nation. Make big requests that are worthy of such a great God.

THE ARK OF GOD’S PRESENCE: End by enjoying the presence of God. Don’t rush away. Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and spend time resting in his presence before you carry on with the rest of your day.
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These Everyday Devotions have been produced and edited by Phil and Ruth Moore on behalf of the Everyday Church Elders

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