by Kaye Johns
“And Moses built an altar and named it, ‘The LORD Is My Banner’” (Ex. 17:15).
Imagine the scene. Moses sent Joshua and his inexperienced and ill-equipped men to battle against the Amalekites. Moses said, “I will stand on the hilltop with God’s staff in my hand” (Ex. 17:9). He took Aaron and Hur with him.
As Moses held up his staff, Israel prevailed, but when he lowered his hand, the enemy prevailed. So Aaron and Hur sat him on a rock and held up his hands until the sun went down, and Joshua and his men defeated Amalek. Then Moses built an altar and named it, “The LORD Is My Banner.”
Can you imagine yourself on a hilltop watching your loved ones doing battle with the kingdom of darkness? For that is what was going on. Amalek, father of the Amalekites, was a grandson of Esau, who had sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. He represents all of our struggles against flesh, against sin in our lives. This battle, in a sense, is a picture of the battle of the kingdom of darkness against the kingdom of light, the battle we face every day. And for us, as for Moses and Joshua and his men, God is our banner, our battle standard. We cannot win the battle without Him. He is our victory in the battle we fight on our knees.
Moses, Aaron, and Hur were no doubt praying, too, with their hands raised toward heaven, but it was the rod in their hands that won the battle — the rod was the symbol of God’s presence and power. It was the same rod Moses had used to confront Pharaoh, to part the Red Sea, and to bring water from the rock. In his day, banners were not always flags but often bare poles. Here, Moses held his rod as a battle standard, a signal to God’s people to unite.
We raise that standard ourselves when we worship God as Jehovah-Nissi, our banner. Put yourself on that hilltop. Imagine your family in the battle down below. Lift the banner, the battle standard for your prayers by beginning with a prayer of worship to Jehovah-Nissi, the One whose presence and power can help your loved ones win their battles over sin and darkness, the One who is our victory.
For guidance in praying to God as Jehovah-Nissi, call 1-800-949-PRAY or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
KAYE JOHNS and her husband, Jim, have served full time with PrayerPower Ministries since 1994. Their ministry website prayerpowerministries.com offers practical prayer materials.
This article originally appeared in Mature Living, July 2014. Subscribe.