Summary: Prayer changes things. Elijah was a man just like us and he changed the world he lived in. Examine the power of prayer in Elijah’s life and change your world.
ELIJAH – THE POWER OF PRAYER 2
James 5:17 -18 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 produced its fruit.
What makes an ordinary obscure person a powerful weapon in the hands of God? Prayer.
Elijah was passionate in prayer; he prayed the word of God into natural reality, he prayed with faith. Elijah impacted a nation through prayer.
J.G. Ryle wrote: "Prayer is the simplest of acts. It is simply speaking to God. It needs neither learning nor wisdom nor book knowledge to begin it. It needs nothing but heart and will. The weakest infant can cry when he is hungry. The poorest beggar can hold out his hands for alms and does not wait to find words. The most ignored man will find something to say to God, if he only has a mind. "
Andrew Murray: "The powers of the eternal world have been placed at prayers disposal. It is the very essence of true religion the channel of blessing, the secret of power and life. "
Charles Spurgeon: "Prayers are the believer’s weapons of war. When the battle is too hard for us, we call in our great ally, who, as it were lies in ambush until faith gives the signal by crying out, ARISE a LORD!!"
Prayer is the slender nerve, which unleashed the muscles of an omnipotent God
Dr. Paul E. Billheimer: "Prayer is not begging God to do something which He is loath to do. It is not overcoming reluctant in God. It is implementing enforcing Christ’s victory over Satan. It is implementing upon earth Heavens decisions concerning the affairs of men. Calvary legally destroyed Satan and concealed all his claims. God placed the enforcement of Calvary’s victory in the hands of the church. "
Matthew 21:22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
ASK – BELIEVE – RECEIVE - FAITH AND PRAYER ARE INSEPERABLE
1 John 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
ELIJAH THE PROMISE CLAIMER
Elijah knew rain was coming. The ear of faith hears what the eye of flesh cannot see! When a man reaches the place where the world is shut out, he can hear God. Blessed is the man who doesn’t have to see to believe - John 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Elijah was a man who believed the promises of God. He believed them so much that he was willing to claim them and live in them.
There are promises in the Bible that are either conditional or unconditional. If I am going to claim a conditional promise, then I must meet all the conditions. Matt. 21:22 says, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." If that promise is going to work for me, then I must pray in absolute faith. It is conditional. However, Psalm 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Is an unconditional promise and is given without strings attached.
In these verses, we see that is claiming a promise that is both personal, and conditional, 1 Kings 18:1. With that little primer on promises in mind, let’s see how we can be active as a promise claimer.
Elijah’s confidence was based on:
The Word Of God -
In 1 Kings 18:1, God told Elijah to confront Ahab and He would send the rain. Elijah did as he was commanded, and he knew the rain was coming. Elijah believed God when God said something.
The Will Of God -
In 1 Kings 17:1, Elijah had been God’s instrument to bring the drought upon the nation. Elijah knew that the drought had been sent because of the idolatry of the people. The rain had stopped because the people were worshiping Baal instead of Jehovah. Now, the Baal prophets were dead, the people had repented and had returned to the Lord God. Elijah knew it was time for the rains to return. Elijah prayed the word of God Deut. 11:13-17 ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.