Does more people praying increase the likelihood of God answering?
Exodus 32:1-5 “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.”
3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
Now Moses was gone on Mount Sinai for 40 days. In that time:
- The people forgot all that God had done for them;
- Aaron caved in;
- The moment they started to celebrate and worship the golden calf, what happens?
Exodus 32:7-11 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’
9 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “O Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?”
This is the picture of intercession:
- Standing between two parties – one with a need and the other with an answer.
- Intercession is not bringing requests to God that he doesn’t care about or that he is unaware of
- Intercession has a mediator standing between two parties.
Moses intercedes for Israel before he goes down the mountain
Exodus 32:30-34 “The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold.
32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
33 The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”
MOSES STOOD IN THE GAP SO MUCH FOR THE ISRAELITES THAT HE WAS WILLING TO TAKE THEIR PUNISHMENT UPON HIMSELF.
Exodus 32:14 “Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.”
How is it possible for God to change His mind?
- Doesn’t God have everything planned out?
- How can perfection change?
Let’s look at Jesus’ heart for people.
For his disciple:
John 17:15 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but you protect them from the evil one.”
For those who will follow:
John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”
WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND IT ALL. WE ARE TO TRUST GOD.
Without being able to give all the answers – here are some things I have learned:
- Some blessings God won’t give unless we ask
- Some blessings God won’t give unless our hearts are right (James 4:3)
- Some trials God won’t deliver us from until we have learned the lesson He was trying to teach.
Keys to prayer:
- Learn how to listen to God
- Know what His Word says
- Develop a lifestyle that says no to our fleshly desires