Moses said to the LORD, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” (Exodus 33:12-13 ESV)

Many times when we don’t know how to pray, we can look at the prayers in the Bible and learn from them. We are going to look at the prayer of Moses, to whom God has given a mandate to lead the people of Israel into the promised land, which was no small task. They were a ragtag group of former slaves, with no real milita experience, who were on their way to take over the land of Canaan (a.k.a. the promised land). They also had a penchant for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

It’s pretty obvious from this prayer that Moses knows he is in over his head. In fact, if you read through the Old Testament book of Exodus, you’ll see that as Moses seeks to follow God and responds to what God is doing, he is constantly finding himself in over his head. God keeps bringing this guy back to a place of desperation and dependence. If we take a step back and look at the narrative of scripture, at people throughout history that God has used in significant ways, or even at our own lives, we’ll see this pattern: God keeps bringing those who desire to be used by Him back to a place of desperation and dependence. This desperation and dependence on God keeps us from thinking we have put our lives all together or being arrogant or prideful in our success. Our desperation and dependence upon God allows us to experience the Creator of the Universe working through us.