One of my most favorite passages in the entire book of Exodus is in chapter 3 where Moses asks God whom he should say sent him, if asked. God tells him to respond by saying “I AM” has sent him. Here’s the conversation between God and Moses:
…“Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”. And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.” (Ex. 3:10-14)
In this conversation there are seven words that grip me. Of course when God tells Moses “I AM who I AM (vs14). Which always make me think if that explanation was good enough for Moses and the Israelites, why am I always trying to explan, defend and define God to others?…
But there are two other words that could almost get lost in this passage, and they are “Be With”. When God says; “But I will be with you (vs12). These simple words always lead me to pray what I now call the “Be-With” prayer.
These two words may seem to be a pitiful prayer to say for others at best. Can’t we do better than that, pray: “God, be with so and so. Amen!”? And we could get up off our knees feeling really guilty, as though we have cheated someone out of (a really good) prayer that day. But when we look at the full implication of these words we can see they are no shoddy prayer at all! Consider this:
A very simple prayer of two words; God, “Be-With” so and so… So simple you might almost feel you were not praying at all! Yet, these words embody one of the most generous blessings that could ever be prayed for another.
When God comes to dwell (Be-With) with us He is coming with all his fullness. He comes with His goodness, unconditional, steadfast, and eternal love, forgiveness, comfort, help (in general and in specific need), salvation, life (abundant), strength, mercy, grace, protection from every (kind of) evil, wisdom, healing (for any kind of disease), joy, peace, deliverance, guidance, faithfulness, energy, blessing, and all good things—because that is who and what God is…Consequently, when we pray God “Be with” someone we are asking God to enter into that life, in the very same way he has come into ours: with all of himself, as the great I AM!
As we pray the “Be-with” prayer we are essentially saying;
God, I pray for and ask you to Be-With them/him/her in all your fullness…
I pray they are helped by you, whatever their plight, blessed by you, no matter their need, strengthened by you, no matter their weakness, enlightened by you, no matter their darkness, healed by you, no matter their sickness, filled with your peace, no matter their trouble. And on and on we ask by just praying two little words: God, Be-With .
When we pray these two little words for others, when they are prayed with thought and consideration, out of love and concern, then, perhaps we have prayed one of the most powerful prayers we will ever pray!
Try praying the “Be-With” prayer for your family, friends and neighbors today.
And by the way, may God be with each one of you today, also!