May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing to You my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Let’s talk about prayer.
Specifically about Elijah and his fervent prayer in 1 Kings 18:41-46. The land had not had any rain for three and a half years. Without rain, drought conditions exists affecting more than just the land. There’s crop failure, low water tables, starvation. Elijah came on the scene in 1 Kings 17 proclaiming there would be a drought, and sure enough, it happened. Things were bad. Then he was on the run for his life - who wouldn't be if one declared doom on a kingdom??
In 1 Kings 18:41-46 Elijah was praying. He just had an incredible mountain-top experience with God not only consuming the idol altar and the many many buckets of water, but God’s all-consuming fire licked up the altar of both Baal and the altar rebuilt for Him - He consumed the sacrifice given to Him as well, in a demonstration of His complete power and authority. Elijah was in the center of this extraordinary scene. His prayers were simple, to the point and effective.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16).
Elijah prayed and God moved. Elijah believed God would move, and He did. This same man (a prophet of God) was now on his knees (in 1 Kings 18) with his face buried between his knees in humility, earnestly seeking God for rain. Seven times he sent his servant to go look for any sign of rain - a speck of a cloud was to be reported - anything. Time and again the servant came back without good news.
Elijah had prayed earnestly for rain, and God answered his prayer (or should I say prayers?). Elijah was persistent, active and straightforward in his praying. He had seen God move previously and he knew God would answer. He prayed in faith believing God would send rain. By the seventh return of the servant, a small rain cloud was in the distance. Yes, rain was coming, God had answered. And it was a deluge. We can assume Elijah’s prayers were pleasing to God - Elijah approached God in humility, perseverance, faithfulness and belief. He did not cease praying until an answer was given.
Words uttered from our mouth to God are prayer. An honest question to ask ourselves is whether or not the prayers are pleasing to Him. How do we know if they are?
AN HONEST EVALUATION
At times I know my prayers are of the selfish variety - too quick, too mundane, too auto-pilot, too demanding, just too. Not in humility, not in worship, not in the right attitude. I know when I have my eyes on myself and not on others, let alone God. The prick from the Spirit gets swatted away when I am in this mood. I am in a struggle and I want to stay there. I am entitled to my rights, are I not???? Boy, I can be nasty sometimes.
It's when we are on our knees with our face between our knees in humility, as Elijah
was, that we can know we are on the right track. It's hard to be demanding in that posture. When we humble ourselves before God, He is pleased.
There is only room for one Lord and Saviour on the throne - and guess what? It's not me nor you. It is YAHWEH, the Maker of heaven and earth, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. It is He whom we are to please - our Rock and our Redeemer.
I have had many times in my life where I was in the place of honest humility; hurting, and needing comfort and hope. When my son Andrew was in the back of the ambulance as we drove away from Corona del Mar beach. When my daughter Rebekah had a very toxic chemical spill in her eye at a hardware store and we had to lean over the sink in the public restroom to wash it out because their safety measures were not in place, then make our way to urgent care for further flushing. Or, when my youngest around three years old, was in our pasture standing between me on our tractor and our bull (which we did not know was a bull at the time, we thought he was a steer). All these were terrifying.
Heart-felt immediate humble prayers were said by this momma in rapid fire, unto the Father. These were pleasing because there was no way out but HIM. I went to God first and cried out earnestly. I knew God would answer. He did. And I knew He was with me in each of those situations and continues to be with me now.
Then there's the long-term prayers. These are the harder ones because the answer is a long time in coming. If you know, you know. I have no answer for the answer, other than, it is pleasing to God to be steadfast in prayer, persistent and specific. Every. Single. Prayer. We. Pray. Is. Heard.
When we pray He does hear us. We may have an immediate answer, a wait answer or a no. Our role is to pray seeking God’s will and as we walk closer to God we will know His will more and more - He reveals it as we grow in Him and study His Word. Our prayers become an earnest extension of our walk with Him - a true conversation filled with love, faith and belief.
So, who's with me? Will you continue to seek God in humility and pray fervently? Will you believe and not doubt? Are you all in?
O God, You are so good and worthy of all worship. You are amazing. You do
delight in our prayers because when we prayer we are spending time with You - what You long for the most. Help me to long for it as well so I never cease to desire to be in Your Presence. Thank You for hearing and answering every single prayer of mine. In the name of Jesus. AMEN