Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’” Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
I’ve written about the faith of Elijah before in this devotion. But God has really purposed my heart to write again, but this time on the need for consistent and persistent prayer. I pray that this devotion blesses you as well.
Though Elijah had the office of an Old Testament prophet, he shares something common with all believers. His effectual prayer life is a model for us. James 5:17-18 (NKJV) says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produces its fruit” Prayer is a habit to be cultivated. It is a discipline to be developed. It is a skill to be practiced. Elijah was persistent in prayer and He expected to hear an answer from God.
Effective prayer depends on faith and the willingness to trust in God’s faithfulness to His promises. Scripture tells us, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV) Faith is necessary in order to approach God. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) And faith is necessary for effective prayer. “So Jesus answered them and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to this fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea’, it will be done. And what things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Elijah was effective in prayer because he believed. He knew of the supreme power of God over all things. Elijah believed and God moved. An answer to prayer may not come as we want or expect. But we need to be consistent and persistent in prayer. We cannot give in or give up. Jesus even taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer. “And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:5-10 NKJV)
God has promised to answer prayer. Prayers for any need we might have and certainly prayers for the needs of others. Elijah knew in the power of God to answer prayer. We have to ask ourselves this question, “Do we believe that God is never changing and the same yesterday, today, and forever?” If our answer is, “Yes”, then we must also believe as Elijah did.
Friend, there is nothing God likes more than answering your prayers and seeing His will be carried out in your life. When we connect with God in our prayers and believe that He resides in each and every word of that prayer, then we can have the confidence that Elijah had when he prayed.
Lord, Elijah was a man like us and he prayed and You answered. Help us Lord with our unbelief. Forgive us Lord when we think that our prayers are too large or too complicated or someone else needs their prayer answered first. Lord, You are no respecter of persons. Each and every prayer is important to you. You said for everyone who asks receives, who seeks finds, and who knocks it will be opened. Teach us Lord to believe that all of Your promises are Yes and Amen. Praying hard is hard work. Strengthen us Lord to remain consistent and persistent in our prayers until You bring a breakthrough. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!