When Elijah prayed that fateful day on Mount Carmel, God’s answer came immediately. Everyone witnessed God’s swift response to Elijah’s request.

A short while later, after things had died down, Elijah prayed for rain. Then he sent his servant to look for what he’d prayed for.

However, the response wasn’t instantaneous this time. The sky showed no change. So Elijah prayed a second time. And a third. And again. And again. After each prayer, he sent his servant looking for a sign of rain. And each time, the servant came back reporting no change.

On the seventh prayer for rain, the servant looked again. This time, the sky had a little cloud in it, rising from the sea.

And Elijah knew right then that God had answered his prayer. Before the sky grew dark, before he could even smell rain in the air, Elijah ran to find shelter.

A benefit to praying persistently is that it keeps us in expectation of what God is going to do.

Elijah didn’t quit praying when the answer didn’t come the first time. Rather than sit back and wait, he went looking for signs of his answer.

Praying persistently keeps us looking with expectant hope for the answers God has to our prayers.

After receiving obvious, immediate answers to prayer, we sometimes feel that God will always respond to us that way.

While there are situations that need urgent action from God, if He answered each prayer as soon as we said it, we’d be lured into believing that God operates at our beck and call. Our connection to Him would be reduced to what He does for us rather than in Who He Is. Our faith would weaken because it would never have a chance to be tested and developed.

As we pray, let’s keep our eyes open for the answers. Don’t quit praying when things don’t seem apparent at first. Continue talking with God. Keep watching with expectancy for the answers.


{Find the other posts in this series on persistent prayer here.}

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Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Communication Leader
Henderson Highway Church

© 2018 Henderson Highway Seventh-day Adventist Church

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