Learning from Moses on praying for guidance

| January 22, 2016


God recently showed me some new things from this passage of Scripture in Exodus. It is the scene where Moses was spending time in communion with God and seeking Him for guidance and empowerment.

12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

– Exo 33:12 -21

This passage spoke to me on so many levels, and how closely it seemed to relate to my life and I believe many of us can relate to the struggles and desires of Moses.

Moses knew where God wanted him to go but did not know how

In v12, we see Moses asking God a question that many of us, definitely including myself, would have asked and sought. We have heard God leading and pointing us to a place, target, destination, objective that we should reach. However after some trying, we are stuck and unsure how to proceed. We ask God and the answer has not be forthcoming. Do not fret, Moses was in your shoes too!

In his conversation with God, he reminded God of the vision that He has placed in his heart and further reminded God of the favor he has with Him. Does that sound familiar? Look up Psalm 1. You should know that you have found favor with Him too as you continue to walk closely in His commands and ways.

Moses continued to pray for favor and the means of receiving it

This is a prayer that God spoke most strongly to me about. It is a prayer that I think more of us need to pray. In v13, Moses first repeats again his firm believe that He has favor or grace with God. Then he asks God to show him, but strangely not to show him the answer to his problem of not having someone to help him lead the people. He asked instead that God showed him how to know Him more, more deeply, more intimately and to understand the heart of God more. Why? Because Moses knew that once he knows God more intimately, he will continue to have greater favor and grace from him and the answers to his problems will come naturally!

Many of us when we come before God, we tend to focus on seeking the exact solutions to the current problems we face. There is nothing wrong with that, but perhaps we also need to pray like Moses did, and go for the bigger picture. Just like King Solomon, when God asked him what he wants, Solomon could have narrowed his focus and asked for wealth and riches. Instead Solomon looked at the bigger picture and asked for wisdom instead, and with wisdom, everything else came with it. Similarly, Moses was doing the same thing here. He asked for more of God and we definitely need to do the same too. We always can do with more of Christ in our lives, and with more of Him, all our other needs and answers will be met.

God honors Moses’ request

God responds positively to Moses’ prayer and promises him more of His presence. So we can conclude that this prayer of Moses pleased God. More than just His presence, God also promised to take Moses to where He wants him to go so that rest may come.

Moses was still not content

I think if I was in Moses’ shoes, I would have been satisfied and extremely happy with God’s reply at that time and leave quickly. But not Moses. He was not content and continued to push into the presence of God. He wanted more. Despite God having just promised more of His presence, in v15-16, Moses told God again that if God does not go with him, he will not leave! He proceeded to remind God again that he needs God’s presence with them in order that people around them will know that they have the blessing and favor of the Almighty God. In fact, Moses was asking for further extension in what God has given him, and that is to establish him and His people as chosen of God.




Category: Anxiety & Problems

About the Author ()

I have been a follower of Christ for more than 20 years now. Started from a Methodist church, then went on to a few charasmatic churches and again back to a Methodist church now. Thus I have experienced and seen a wide flavor of different denominations. Personally, I consider myself non-denominational as I can worship in many different styles. The important thing is that I follow the gospel and love Jesus. I am currently serving as a musician and a worship leader in my church. I believe that my calling is to help others enter into the presence of God through worship. I also enjoy teaching and discipling other believers, which is the main reason why this site was started. I hope to find other believers to join me in this cause to reach out and encourage other believers.

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