Sadly, the modern Christian’s prayer life has been reduced to blessing food and sick grannies. Every mediocre man of God can pray these prayers. They’re easy. They’re simple. They have no substance. God can handle these with one arm tied behind His metaphorical back.
But what about the Big Ask Prayers that men of faith used to pray. The prayers that stopped the sun in the sky. The prayers that routed armies. The prayers that made people aware of the heavenly forces protecting them. The prayers that healed the sick and raised the dead. The prayers that shook the very foundation of every doubter and scoffer. The prayers that only God could accomplish. What happened to those?
The men that prayed these prayers weren’t content to continue living with status quo. They wanted to see heaven moved and God’s glory shown on earth. One of these men was Moses. Moses started out as a murdering, stuttering shepherd working for his father-in-law. But when God got through with him, he was a mighty man of faith who parted rivers you couldn’t see across, and made water appear out of rocks in the desert. That’s the man’s prayers I want to study. If Moses prayed it, you know it was a big ask prayer.
So what did Moses pray for besides the standard ocean splitting stuff? In Exodus 33, after spending forty days on the Mountain with God, just to come down to see the Children of Israel dancing around a golden calf, Moses had some big things to ask from God. God said that He would not go up with them to take the land because of their obstinacy, and He didn’t want to destroy them on the way.
Moses wouldn’t settle for this. He wouldn’t do anything without God’s help, so he asked him three things. Three big ask prayers that should be in every man of faith’s arsenal.
First, Moses asked God for knowledge of His ways. Moses wanted to know his Commandant intimately. Paul’s prayer in Philippians 3:10, echoes this prayer. These two men of faith desired to know their Creator above all else. Moses prayed specifically that he would know God’s ways, so that he could know God, so that he could find favor in His sight. Moses knew that without an intimate knowledge of his King, he would get no where as a leader. It was hopeless without this relationship. That’s a big ask prayer every man of faith needs in their arsenal.
Second, Moses asked God to lead them. He said, “If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” If most of us heard that God would not go up with us, we would have done one of two things. One, in the name of laziness we would have said, “Oh well, it was a good run, but God’s given up and so will I.” Or two, in the name of “bravado” (that’s directed at the men) we would have attempted to make it on our own without the help of God. And at the first pit stop in Canaan we would have been slaughtered. But Moses didn’t go for either of those options. He chose option C, and told God he would go nowhere without His leading. Period. Moses knew his own weakness as a leader without God, but he also knew the strength they had with God at the helm. So, He asked for God’s leading and wouldn’t do anything without it. That’s a big ask prayer every man of faith needs in their arsenal.
The third and final thing Moses asked for was to see the glory of God. Moses wasn’t content with just knowing God. He wasn’t content with just being led by God. He wanted to see God. Moses never got stuck in good enough. He wasn’t content to stay where he was. He always wanted to advance in his relationship with his Mighty Warrior. Because of this fervent desire and Moses’ willingness to put God first in everything, God granted Moses’ request. He allowed him to see His glory and His back, but not His face. I think Moses would have been content to see God’s face and die, but God still had work for him to do. Moses got what he asked for, because he was willing to ask for it. To see the glory of God, that’s a big ask prayer every man of faith needs in their arsenal.
Moses knew God so well that he could ask for these big ask prayers and know that God would answer them. How many of us would be willing to ask for these things? How many of us would even think to ask for these things? James says we have not because we ask not, and if we ask but we don’t have, it’s because we ask with wrong motives. Start asking God for big things, with the right motives, and sit back and watch Him move. Can we rival Moses in our asks? Will this generation see God move like the Children of Israel saw Him move? We will never know unless we have big ask prayers.