Powerful Prayer

GOD uses ordinary people to make a difference in our world.   Elijah is often referred to as a man of GOD.  That is a pretty good nickname for anyone. He was from a rural background and a man of the wilderness.  He was called to the work as a teenager.  He served during the time of Ahab and Jezebel.  Her goal was to end all worship of JEHOVAH.  Worship of Baal had been around for years, but Ahab as king, had publicly endorsed it.

33 And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.   She was from a culture where Baal was worshipped and intended to wipe out all other beliefs.

God intervenes with the entrance of Elijah.  Even his name would have caught their attention, my GOD is the LORD.  He bursts on the scene proclaiming the true GOD.  He came condemning them without any political correctness! He confronts Baalism and declares that there is but one GOD.  He is to the OT what John the Baptist was to the NT.  He was the voice crying in the wilderness.

Elijah through GOD’s power proclaims a drought for 3 years.  It was GOD’s plan to bring the people to repentance and back to Him.   In any society, but especially an agrarian one, drought means famine and death. 

GOD taught him to pray earnestly.  He would need this for the rest of his life.

Our prayer life is often the weakest part of our faith.  Do we pray earnestly?  Do we come boldly to the throne?  JESUS gave His life to remove the curtain that separated believers from access to Holy GOD.  What a privilege that is!  What a price was paid!

After his terrible prophesy was announced, GOD sent him into the wilderness for a year: to protect him and to train him to trust Him.  Each day he waited for daily provisions.  We give so little credence to “Give us this day our daily bread”.  We have refrigerators and pantries as well as markets nearby.   What would we learn if every day we would need to wait on GOD to deliver our needs?

Our spiritual food is like that!  Every day we must ask for His provision.  If we do not, we begin to starve spiritually.

We know that Elijah went on to experience great things with GOD.  He was called to live next to the seat of Baal worship.  He lived with a Gentile widow and her son.  The widow was preparing the last meal for herself and her son.  It was unheard of to speak to a Gentile much less a widow, one with the least in society.   Elijah asked her to step out in faith and give him water and food.  She did and was blessed with a bottomless supply of food and water for 2 years.

Later her son died.  We learn a lot in that experience.  The woman struck out in anger against him.  Elijah did not retort.  Are we like that?  Do we stop and ask ourselves what is this person experiencing that they are behaving so uncharacteristically?  Do we give them a bit of grace?

He took on her burden.   Elijah relied on prayer to bring him back to life.  What a prayer!  No one had raised the dead before this.  He had learned to trust GOD in all things.  Perhaps he had heard, “Let go and let GOD”.  Do we do that when testing comes?

JESUS used this very account as an example when He taught in the synagogue.

Lastly, we all love the story of Elijah and the 400 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.  Baal worshippers had turned this place where GOD was worshipped into a place of Baal.

Elijah takes control of the situation.  GOD’s plan was that the test would show that Baal had no power.  Baal was said to control storms and rain.  Where had he been in the drought?  Surely, he could muster up a bit of lightning!

They each chose a bull to sacrifice.  They were to call down fire to light the sacrifice.  The others called out from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.  Elijah asks if their GOD is sleeping?  Meditating?  Away on a trip?  All of this was witnessed by the people.

Remember that Elijah purposely rebuilt the altar to JEHOVAH before he began.  He wanted to remind them of their GOD.  Not only did he wet the altar, but the wood and the soil around it.

Once again, he relies on prayer.  I Kings 18.36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice (3 PM), that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.  37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”  38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.                39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!”

None of us profess to be prophets.  Prophets were ordinary people equipped by GOD to do extraordinary things.  Elijah was not perfect.  He wavered at times.  He was human.  GOD, who created us is aware of our frailties, but is full of grace.

There are areas in our life where we must take a stand for CHRIST.  There are faithful prayers that need to be prayed.

Let’s visualize that throne room in the Holy of Holies and reverently enter.

Sandy Pace- IOKDS VP