During the Coronavirus time, did you feel helpless? You may have looked at your own abilities or your influence and wondered what you could do.
During this time of violence and hatred in our country, do you wonder how you could make a difference?
God gives us a beautiful picture of someone in the Bible who could have felt unqualified to do anything about the hard circumstances in which he found himself. That person was Elijah.
Elijah was living at a time when King Ahab ruled. Let me remind you that Ahab’s wife was Jezebel. They made a wicked team. I Kings 16: 33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
Why didn’t someone just go let King Ahab have it? It seems much of the nation of Israel had turned from God to Baal. Ahab might have been thinking he was doing pretty good running things the way he liked them. This went on for 22 years! Then we turn to Chapter 17 and everything begins to change!
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
Wait! Where did Elijah come from? We look back into Chapter 16 – there’s no mention of him. Chapter 15? No genealogy. The fact is, the Word of God gives us NONE. We just learn that he is an inhabitant of Gilead. That would tell us what he was like…
- Solemn and Stern
- Lived in rude villages
- Made living by keeping sheep
- Hardened by open-air life.
- Dressed in a cloak of camel’s hair
- Used to spending most of this time in solitude
- He would be a stark contrast to town dwellers and pampered attendants of the palace.
He makes me think of hikers on the Appalachian Trail!
What could a man of that description do? He could take on the resource of all deeply burdened people – he could pray!
Desperate people pray! Have you ever been on a flight that began to bounce around in the sky? What happens? People begin to pray!! Why? They can’t do anything about their situation and they are desperate for help!
How do we know Elijah prayed before he came to the King? James 5:17 – Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Elijah was hidden in Chapter 16. He had a hidden life of prayer. While no one else saw or heard him, he was talking to God, and the Lord saw and heard his cries.
This verse not only tells us that Elijah prays, but we also get a glimpse as to how he prays.
- Elijah prayed Scripturally. Elijah would have been familiar with Deuteronomy 11:15, 16 – Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
17 And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.
I believe Elijah was praying, “Lord, your Word says if we turn aside from worshipping you, you will send a drought. Lord, send one so these people will know You are God alone!”
You and I should know God’s Word and His promises well enough that we can claim them in our prayers.
What verses are you praying for your lost friends or family? What passage are you claiming for your wayward child? What are you asking God to do for our country in its time of unrest and violence? What big request is making you pray, “Lord your Word says that nothing is too hard for you!”?
2. He prayed Specifically. James tells us that he prayed that it might not rain. He didn’t say, Lord, do something. Help us. No, he prayed specifically that it wouldn’t rain.
I think sometimes we pray so vaguely that we would never even know if God answered our prayers!
Recently I heard an idea about using little post-it notes to help us accomplish more in a day. It was suggested that we use three or four notes and on each one, write a task that we want to get accomplished. Then when it’s completed, don’t throw the note away, post it up on a wall where you can see it and realize all you’ve gotten done. What if we took that idea and used it for our prayer requests each day? Think of three or four specific things today that you will ask God to do, then write it down on a note. When He answers, post that note in a place where you can see it! How would that encourage your prayer life??!!
3. Elijah prayed sincerely. James tells us that he prayed earnestly. I don’t believe he whispered his prayer or said it lamely. I think he stormed heaven’s door with his cries! Do you and I have enough spiritual fervor that we could pray sincerely with passion in our heart for God to hear us? We don’t have to yell to be heard, but we should pray with true sincerity. We often get more excited about our child’s ballgame than we do approaching the God of this universe. God must get so bored with our prayers. I think it would be good if we got bored with our prayers and started praying with sincerity.
Friends, we need revival! How will it happen?
WE need to see our friends, neighbors and our family members saved. How will it happen?
We need God to move in mighty ways in relationships and personal needs. How will it happen?
Everything that happens from I Kings 17:1 and on happened because ONE man prayed! What could happen if one woman prayed?!
Let’s pray Scripturally, specifically and sincerely like Elijah and make a difference in our home, our church and our world by having a hidden life of prayer. Then Let’s pray and watch what our omnipotent God will do.
James says Elijah was like us…I think we need to be like Elijah!