Who compares with you
among gods, O God?
Who compares with you in power,
in holy majesty,
In awesome praises,
wonder-working God? Exodus 15:11
Beyond the prayers of Jesus, scripture captures relatively few examples of prayers. Yet, Ephesians 6:18 encourages us to embrace prayer as a constant and creative practice in all circumstances. For us, we so easily get stuck in the default way we have been praying when we first started following Jesus. We get stuck in the familiar routine, so having a model for prayer that will help us engage in prayer at a much deeper level is very helpful. Jesus taught us how to pray through the Lord’s Prayer. It is an excellent model to follow. This is another model that was used by Moses and is one that I find quite powerful to use when I pray. This article has been summarised from a book by Chris Hodges titled "Pray First - The Transformative Power of a Life Built on Prayer". This text is highly inspiring and will empower you with a deep understanding of both the significance and the essential nature of prayer. It provides models that will enhance your prayer life, drawing you into God's presence and enabling you to pray with meaning, fervour and power.
Moses was a leader of the Hebrew people who brought them out of slavery into the Promised Land. On the journey, they did not have a stone temple to worship God; instead, they were given instructions on how to build a portable version of this temple until they could be settled to build a permanent structure. In Exodus 25:8-9 God says, “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, that is, the tabernacle's pattern and all its furnishings, so that you shall make it.” God wanted to live among them and gave them the design for a temple that would help them to come fully into His presence to both speak to and hear from God. God spoke to Moses face to face as one speaks to a friend inside this tent. (Exodus 33:11) The pattern that Moses used to enter God’s presence can still be used today. The process God taught them to enter His presence was a law then, but it is now a powerful principle through what Jesus has done on the cross. The process used six pieces of furniture to guide them into God’s presence.
ONE: The Outer Court
To enter the Tabernacle, you had to go through the outer court. This was a place to give thanks to God. In the Psalms, we are told to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). Give God thanks for what you have and have already received. When we start by thanking God and not asking, we establish a relationship. with God and not just a time of ticking off what we want from God. Gratitude keeps our emotions balanced and healthy. By starting this way, we realise how blessed we are.
TWO: The Brazen Alter - Sinners Restored by the Cross.
To atone for his sinfulness, Moses needed to offer a sacrifice to God on the brazen altar. Blood needed to be shed for sins committed, which brought forgiveness and cleansing. It would have been an awful sight, seeing the dead and smouldering carcasses. The smell alone would have been awful.
We can use the brazen altar to remind us of Jesus's suffering for our sins. Jesus received four major wounds, which are symbolic for us. Jesus was whipped, a crown of thorns was placed on His head, he was nailed to the cross, and his side was pierced. In Isaiah 53:5 we read,
“But He was wounded[a] for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes, we are healed.”
Jesus was pierced in His hands and feet - For our transgressions (for sinful actions and selfish disobedience to God)
He was crushed by the spear of a Roman guard - For our iniquities (our identity apart from Christ - who we are apart from Christ).
Jesus both covers our transgressions and our inequities on the cross.
Jesus wore a crown of thorns that mocked him - Jesus had divine peace even when mocked. Because of this, when we think of the crown of thorns Jesus wore, we can let go of all the fear, worry, anxiety and stress in our minds.
Jesus was whipped. Through the raw lash marks, Jesus heals our infirmities and diseases, our weaknesses and injuries, our relationships and our broken lives. This includes the physical, spiritual and emotional parts of our lives.
THREE: The Laver - Clean and Consecrated Hearts
This third step takes us to the laver, which was a place for washing yourself in a shallow basin with a mirror on the bottom. This allowed you to see your condition through seeing yourself in the mirror and be cleansed accordingly. We are reminded to cleanse and offer every part of ourselves to God. We can pray:
Over our mind - all thoughts, assumptions and attitudes. Ask God to keep your vision on Him, the needs of others and what He wants you to do today.
Over our ears - that we would listen to the voice of God and not the enemy.
Over our mouth and tongue - that the words I say may be pleasing to God and not harmful to others.
Over our hands and feet - that our hands may be of service to others, and I will go where He wants me to go.
God has forgiven us once and for all on the cross. God also wants to cleanse us daily so we can be more like Jesus. In Romans 12:1, Paul says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
FOUR: The Candlestick: A Life Open to the Spirit
After the Laver, we come to the candlestick. This was in a smaller tent where a Jewish menorah symbolised the fire of God’s presence, the refining power of His Spirit and the anointing of His people with gifts and abilities. This candle reminds us to invite the work of the Holy Spirit into our lives.
Fire has symbolised the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Fire brings life, warmth, comfort and illumination. As the Holy Spirit guides us, we can do the right thing and avoid the wrong things. We can experience the Spirit to the fullest as we cooperate with God. Through a life with the Spirit, we can live a life not of fear and timidity but of power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1-6) Coming into this relationship is like “fanning a fire”. We can ask God to anoint us for HIs purpose, be given spiritual gifts and use the ones He has given us. We can do all God has called us to do through the Spirit’s direction, enabling and timing. We have all we need as we walk a life in the Spirit.
FIVE: The Table of Showbread - Nourished by God’s Promises
Moses walked past a table with 12 loaves of bread. These were freshly baked each day. This reminded us that we need to feed on the promises of God’s Word. The Bible is our daily bread and is powerful when used in daily prayer. Hebrews 4:12 says, “12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” By knowing the Word of God, we can effectively fight against the enemy and make a stand against the enemy’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11)
SIX: The Altar of Incense - Reverence and Adoration
This is the last step before Moses entered behind the curtain where God dwelled. There was a sweet aroma coming from a small altar. This smell was a sign of worship 24 hours a day. Here, we worship God simply for who He is. He is worthy of our worship because of who He is … the Great I AM! As we worship, we develop intimacy with the Father. You can sing, listen to worship music, or just speak out about who God is. You celebrate God loving you extravagantly as HIs child. Worshipping the Lord is about proclaiming who God is and His worth. Speaking out His many names given to Him in the Bible is very powerful. (Go to https://www.lwf.org/names-of-god for some examples) eg: Abba - Father / Alpha and Omega - Beginning and the End / Adonai - Lord Master / El Elyon - The God Most High / El Roi - The God Who Sees / Elohim - The Creator / El Shaddai - God Almighty / Immanuel - God With Us / Jehovah Rapha - The Lord our Healer / Jehovah - Tsidkenu - The Lord our Righteousness / Jesus - The Lord Saves / Logos - The Word.
SEVEN: The Mercy Seat - Intercession
This location marks the final destination Mose would seek out after bypassing each of the preceding six sites. Within this sacred space rested the Ark of the Covenant, an extraordinary artifact signifying the presence of God. Adorning this revered object were two golden cherubim, each with eyes shielded, stationed vigilantly on either side. Before this hallowed seat, Jewish priests would stand to intercede on behalf of others, advocating fervently as if presenting a case before a tribunal. They bridged the divide between the divine and humanity, facilitating a connection through which God could address their necessities and fulfil their petitions.
In this consecrated space, we are invited to present the needs of our families, friends, and those whom God has placed in our lives. It is a place where we offer prayers not only for our personal circles but also for those bearing leadership and authority in various spheres—be it spiritual, governmental, professional, or familial. Our prayers extend to our nation’s leaders, local authorities, and spiritual guides.
Here, we petition for deliverance from constraints, blessings amidst adversities, discernment for what lies ahead, triumph over adversarial forces, and comprehensive healing from ailments affecting both ourselves and those we uphold in prayer.
This prayer of Moses is much easier to do than it looks. Through this prayer, we can enter the presence of God, using the right protocols so we can both fully experience intimacy with our Heavenly Father and bring those things around us to Him. We can use what God gave Moses in the Old Testament to help us to spend time with Him.
The Process - Quick Summary
Gratitude in the Outer Court: Begin prayer with thanksgiving to God for blessings received, establishing a grateful and balanced emotional state and recognising our fortunate circumstances.
Atonement at the Brazen Altar: Reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins on the cross, acknowledging His suffering and the forgiveness it offers for our transgressions and iniquities.
Purification at the Laver: Engage in self-examination and cleansing, offering every part of ourselves to God - mind, ears, mouth, hands, and feet - for His service and guidance.
Empowerment at the Candlestick: Invite the Holy Spirit into our lives to guide, refine, and empower us with gifts and abilities for God’s purpose, embracing a life led by the Spirit.
Nourishment at the Table of Showbread: Daily engage with God's Word, allowing the promises and truths in the Bible to sustain, guide, and protect us against the enemy.
Worship at the Altar of Incense: Offer God worship and adoration for who He is, developing intimacy through singing, listening to worship music, or acknowledging His many names and attributes.
7. Intercession at the Mercy Seat: Stand in the gap for others before God, presenting the needs of our families, friends, leaders, and those God has placed in our lives, seeking His intervention and blessings.