Bible Ballistics: BBs #113 And Elijah Prayed!!!
1 Kings 18:42-45, “So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not. 45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.”
A somewhat lengthy passage for today but I felt the import of it’s message and wanted to remind us of a few things about prayer.
These verses are right after Elijah’s encounter with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. God of course showed Himself faithful, but there are a few things we often miss about this story. One is that Elijah did all that He did at the Lord’s bidding. He was not presumptuous, willful for vengeful—He simply obeyed his God in prophesying the coming drought, and at God’s bidding he went to tell Ahab that God was sending rain. We see Elijah praying for the rain, but if God had said the rain was coming why was Elijah praying for rain? Because he was in tune with His God and prayed earnestly for God’s power to be displayed as God had told him to proclaim. How do I know this? Well, I’ll answer that with another scripture, which also sometimes needs clarifying.
James 5:16-17, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 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.”
Some take this to mean that ‘Elijah’ (translated Elias here in the KJV) simply prayed and it ceased to rain, and he prayed again and it began to rain. NOT SO!!! Elijah did all that he did in obedience to God. All true prayer is Spirit led and God focused and is seen in obedience. Jesus Himself told us this in His model prayer. Remember?
“Thy kingdom come…thy will be done…on earth as it is in heaven.” (See Rev. 4-5 to see what goes on in heaven.)
Our prayers are not a way to manipulate God, but a way for us to connect with God and know Him better. To know His will and way for us personally—in accord with HIS Word—and to be available for HIS service as HE directs. Not a self-centered event but a God centered devotion! Let’s see what Elijah prayed on Mt. Carmel?
1 Kings 18:36-37, “And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.”
So??? Here’s our shot for today. What is the focus of your prayers?
Are you set on accomplishing your own will
and calling on God to validate it?
Or are you calling on God to know Him
and His will for you?
Are you ready to follow
as HE leads
and go where HE directs
as you seek HIS face
and HIS heart?
Only you have the answers—but God is there ready and waiting to hear your voice in prayer, and have your ear as He speaks His answers and His word to your heart.