Summary: Patience in Prayer
Many of us have experienced the frustration we felt when we were placed on hold. You finally reach a real person, and before you can give your name or state your reason for calling you are quickly asked, "Hold, please!" In addition to that, many of these modern day time saving devices does not eliminate the frustration over waiting. These modern cars, with their air condition, CD players, sunroofs, power locks, power windows, power breaks, and power steering does not eradicate the feeling of waiting we feel at red lights. Think for a moment about the microwaves we use in our kitchen. They do in minutes what use to take hours, yet they are not fast enough when you are waiting on popcorn to finish popping. Some companies have gone to these automated phones, where some computerized voice asks, "press 1 if this, press 2 if that." You listen patiently and your particular area of interest is not represented then finally the voice says, "Hold for an operator" followed by the message, "All of our operators are currently busy, Hold please for the next available operator."
Today, we do not like to wait. That's why we have cordless phones, mobile phones, cell phones, and digital phones. We don't like to wait for the whole name so we use abbreviations, CBS, KFC, IHOP, AT&T, MCI, CNN, PC, CD and DVD. So today you can totally understand the statement, The patient have been moved from the ER to the ICU because the TV does not have CBS or NBC for them to watch NFL on ABC.
We do not like to wait. So when we hear those words, "Hold, please" we instantly become frustrated. The question is what do you do when you hear these words, some decide to hang up only to be put on hold again, while others have learned to Hold on.
The feeling of frustration is no less frustrating when the person you are trying to reach is God. The Eternal One, who never sleeps nor slumbers, the Omnipresent One whom is everywhere at the same time. The One who is able to do all things. We become frustrated when we call on him in prayer and the return reply is Hold, please.
Especially when you know that God is a prayer hearing God and a prayer answering God. One of the old hymns I love is "I love the Lord, He heard my cry." God hears and answers prayers. I we could call on a few people they will tell you that God hears and answers prayer. In the Old Testament, Moses called on the Lord before crossing the Red Sea, He will testify that God hears and answers prayers. Daniel called on the Lord on his way to the lion's den and before he landed in the den God heard and answered his prayer. Hannah will tell you that God hears and answers prayer.
We don't have to go that far back in the New Testament, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, and Paul will tell you that God hears and answers prayer. At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God and Lord moved by freeing them and freeing their jailer. God hears and answers prayers. Some of the old saints who are present today would simply testify, they would tell you that God hears and answers prayer. (Somebody here should be a witness that God, hears and answers prayers)
Well if anybody knew, Elijah knew that God would answer prayer. On Mt. Carmel, Elijah had first hand knowledge that God hears and answers prayer and he can answer them quickly. Mohammad Ali once said that he was so quick that he could turn off the light and get in bed before the room got dark. That's Quick. But My God can answer prayers quicker than that. My God can turn off the lights, tuck my wife, my daughter, and me in bed, whisper sweet nothings into my ear, dispatch angels to camp around my bedside and prepare my way for the next morning all before the room gets dark. That's Quick. My God is quicker than fast and faster than quick.
James says, "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." Elijah knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God hears and answers prayers. In Chapter 18; Elijah enjoys great success in his prayer life. Every time he calls on God, he receives an answer quickly. However, in Chapter 19; we find Elijah on the run. Running for his life. While on the run Elijah prays, but God put Elijah on Hold.