The Privilege of Prayer (Exodus 33:11) - Radical

The Privilege of Prayer (Exodus 33:11)

Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend.
-Exodus 33:11

Oh, Exodus 33 is one of my favorite chapters in the book of Exodus, may be in the Old Testament all together, for so many reasons that we don’t have time to dive into now. But this verse in particular, in this part of Exodus 33. So the context here is verse seven says, “Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far from the camp, and he called it the Tent of Meeting and everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent,” so picture this scene. All the people would rise up and each would stand at his tent door and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent.

God has made the way open for any one of us to meet with Him through prayer.

So just picture that scene, like word gets around that Moses is going to meet with God. He’s going out to the tent of meeting and so everybody stands up. They all gather in front of their tent doors and they watch, in silent awe, as this man walks out, goes into a tent to meet with God, then listen to verse nine. It says, “When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent and the Lord would speak with Moses.”

So Moses walks in the tent. This cloud comes over. It rests over it. And verse 10 says, “When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, all the people would rise up and worship each in his tent door.” Like everybody is worshiping. I don’t know what that means, how that worship was playing out. If it was just silent awe, if they were singing or shouting, what it was, but they were worshiping. Why? Because there was a man who was meeting with God and that leads to verse 11.

Thus, the Lord used to speak to Moses face-to-face as a man speaks to his friend. This is one of those places, we just can’t leave the story in the Old Testament because we know, based on what Jesus did; who Jesus is, God in the flesh; what he did, living the life we couldn’t live; dying, the death we deserved to die on a cross for our sins; rising from the dead, ascending into heaven. He has made the way open for any one of us to meet with God.

So just think about this. We don’t have to watch this person or that person go in and encounter the presence of God. Every single one of us, who has put our faith in Jesus, has the privilege of communion with God. Communion with God; God face-to-face in this sense, to know God as your friend and we don’t even have to go somewhere. We don’t have to go out to some tent or some building or anything like that because the New Testament teaches, we are the tent. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God dwells inside of you, which means you and I can experience this kind of communion with God, every single moment of every single day, wherever we are.

Do we realize this? A privilege that Old Testament saints could have only longed for. They worshiped at the thought of one person meeting with God. You and I have the privilege of enjoying that all day long, wherever we are, every single day,

God, we praise you, with awe, for this privilege. God, we thank you for prayer. God, please don’t let us lose sight of the privilege of prayer. God, even as I am praying right now on a podcast that, I mean pray together every single day, this podcast. God, I confess. I have lost sight of, taken for granted, even the privilege of doing this. Of praying to you, for me to do that, for us to do this together, for us to do this and this way, for us to speak with you. For us to know you as our friend. As a friend, you, the God of the universe. Think about your grander and your glory as the creator of 7.75 billion people and everything; every star in the sky, everything in creation and I know you, we know you as friend.

God, we praise you for the privilege of prayer and we pray that you’d help us to experience this privilege to the full. Help us to live in continual prayer; to do what you say in your word, pray continually. To walk with you, as temples of your Holy Spirit. To commune with you, all day long today and all day long tomorrow. God may that be our life.

God, please use us to bring other people to you, we pray. God as we pray for these unreached people groups every day, God, we pray so many different people groups who don’t know you. So many people groups, people from them, who’ve never heard how they can be with you. God, we pray for the Jaunsari of India. God, please, please bring them into the tent. Bring them into communion with you. Cause the gospel, the goodness of Jesus, to be known among them, we pray, that they might experience this. Use us to lead friends, family members around us today, to experience communion with you; to know you as a friend.

God, we praise you for the privilege of prayer. Help us to experience it to the full, all day long, every day, wherever we are. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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