Elijah’s day was one for the history books. God had shown up and shown out yet again. Elijah’s day began with an impromptu appointment with King Ahab, followed by the showdown on Mount Carmel. As an exclamation point to end the day, God sent rain after years of drought. Many prayers were answered that day.
Upon his return to Jezreel, Elijah received a death threat. Queen Jezebel promised to kill him within the next 24 hours. Scared for his life, Elijah fled. Sitting all alone in the wilderness, Elijah begged God to end his life. He felt that all was lost and nothing was worth living for. His desperation did not go unnoticed as God led him to Mount Sinai for a special meeting.
Elijah poured his heart out before God, sharing his feelings with honesty. He had worked so hard but was all alone and the pressure was unbearable. At that moment, God had an intimate chat with Elijah. He was there, listening to Elijah and giving him directions for what to do next. God also reassured Elijah that he was not alone. In addition to God’s presence, God had thousands of other faithful believers in Israel.
Elijah’s story highlights some key points about prayer.
Praying people have both great and crummy days.
Elijah went from a spiritual high to crisis mode in the same day. However, he never stopped talking to God. Prayer is not reserved for hard times only. When things are going well, we’re tempted to ease back or lessen the intensity of our prayers. We may even start to think that we’ve figured out the complex equation where our prayers and our faith will result in guaranteed answers. But prayer isn’t a problem waiting to be solved. Prayer is how we talk with God, how we connect with God.
We can be honest with God in prayer.
Elijah didn’t sugarcoat his prayers. He didn’t flatter God first before creatively saying that he felt deserted and in trouble. Instead, Elijah just poured out his heart with all its raw emotions before God. God was not insulted. He didn’t chastise Elijah for his honesty. God was able to talk with Elijah in a unique way because he had bared his heart before God and chose to seek Him out during troublesome times.
God is with us.
When Elijah prayed, God heard his cries and called Elijah to a special appointment with Him. God literally showed up when Elijah cried out. Elijah knew with certainty that was in God’s presence and covered his face to protect himself from the full glory of God. In turn, God himself spoke with Elijah and reassured him.
God loves us so much that He has made Himself easily accessible, through the gift of prayer. We don’t have to take a number or wait in line. We aren’t limited to only a few moments of His time after a meticulous screening process. We don’t need a microphone or platform for our prayers to be heard. Prayer can be done at any moment, in any location, at all times of the day.
We’re heading into the final week of “Kneeling With the Savior”, 21 days of prayer and fasting. The changes have been challenging as they refine us, molding us to become more like God. It’s been encouraging to see the praise reports as people celebrate answered prayers.
It’s not too late to join the video calls at 6 a.m. each day. Our prayer lives will grow as we invite God to be the priority in our lives.
Join the Zoom video calls (6 am CST).
Access the devotional plan.
For more on fasting, here are some practical pointers for prayer and fasting.
Written by Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Henderson Highway Church