When Moses held up his hands and the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, he made the headlines. However, as Mark Batterson points out, there is often a footnote behind every headline: the behind-the-scenes prayers that move the hand of God. The true heroes in the Kingdom of God were the guys who held up Moses’ hands when he got weary.

History belongs to the intercessors. Charles Finney was the most famous evangelist of his generation. He made the headlines during the Second Great Awakening. But Finney had a companion named Father Daniel Nash, who quit his pastorate to devote himself to being the evangelist’s full-time intercessor. When Finney visited a city, Nash would rent a room, recruit two or three intercessors, and lay a foundation for the revival that would follow. By the time Finney showed up, the hard work of prayer had already been done; the victory was already secured in the spiritual realm.

During one of Finney’s revivals, he was contacted by a woman who ran a boarding house. She asked, “Do you know a Father Nash? He and two other men have been at my boarding house for the last three days, but they haven’t eaten a bite of food. I opened the door because I could hear them groaning and I saw them down on their faces. I was afraid to go in and don’t know what to do.” Finney replied, “You don’t need to worry. They are just travailing in prayer.” When public meetings started, Nash rarely attended. He stayed in his prayer closet, pleading with God for the power of the Holy Spirit to fall on the crowd.

Nash wrote in his journal: “I am convinced it is my duty and privilege and the duty of every other Christian to pray for the Holy Spirit to come down as on the day of Pentecost… I have just begun to understand what Jesus meant when He said, ‘All things whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.’”

Father Nash’s headstone contains the following epitaph:

Daniel Nash
Laborer with Finney
Mighty in Prayer
Nov. 17, 1775—Dec. 20 1831

Prayer is the pen that writes history. If you focus on the footnotes, God will write the headlines.