Summary: Part 3 of series on Elijah. Prayer lessons from Elijah's life.
“Powerful and Effective” Prayer
Once it a while I need to remind myself how huge and powerful God really is,
and there’s a kids book I love,
that reminds me of God’s power better than anything else.
The book is called, Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?
It starts out---
The largest animal on earth is the blue whale. Just the flippers on its tail are bigger than most animals on earth. PICTURE
But a blue whale isn't anywhere near as big as a mountain. If you put 100 blue whales in a huge jar, you could put millions of whale-jars inside a hollowed-out Mt. Everest. PICTURE
But Mt. Everest isn't near as big as the earth. If you stacked 100 Mt. Everests on top of one another, it would be just a whisker on the face of the earth. PICTURE
And the earth isn't anywhere near as big as the sun. You could fit one million earths inside the sun. PICTURE
But the sun, which is a medium-size star, isn't anywhere near as big as the red supergiant star called Antares. Fifty million of our suns could fit inside of Antares.
But Antares isn't anywhere near as big as the Milky Way galaxy. Billions of stars, including supergiants like Antares, as well as countless comets and asteroids, make up the milky Way galaxy.
(it would take our fastest spacecraft, Voyager 1, at 38,000 mph,
1.7 Billion years just to cross the milky way.
But the Milky Way galaxy isn't anywhere near as big as the universe. There are billions of other galaxies in the universe.
And yet, filled with billions of galaxies, the universe is almost totally empty. The distances from one galaxy to another are beyond our imagination.
And the Creator of this universe is God, who with a Word spoke it all into being, who is present everywhere in this universe and beyond, and who holds it all together with his mighty power.
We have no idea of the awesome power of God.
and what's even more amazing
is that He wants to use that power to help you,
to answer your prayer.
I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him...
God says “The same power that I used to create the universe,
I want to use, to help you,
and he does that through prayer.
Have you ever prayed for something really, really hard…
Asking God to change a situation,
get you a job,
take this thing away,
help this relationship,
Or, God would you take away this addiction.
I can’t keep wrestling with the thing
month after month, and year after year.”
So you pray about this,
and it’s a huge deal for you,
its really important, so you’re praying really hard,
but then God apparently does nothing?
“He doesn’t take it away,
he doesn’t heal,
he doesn’t bring along that right relationship,
he doesn’t fix the bad relationship,
in fact, maybe it gets worse,
maybe it gets more hopeless,
So you start to ask,
I wonder if God even cares.
Is He really there?
Can He really hear me?
Is He listening?
He’s not answering my prayer,
I wonder if prayer really works,
because I pray, and there’s nothing.
And truthfully, if you’re not there now,
you’ve probably been there before,
where you’re praying,
but it feels like God is not moving.
We’re in a series on Elijah,
and one of the good things about studying Elijah,
is that this guy understood prayer.
and he knew what to do,
when you don’t see an answer to prayer.
In fact, Elijah is used in the new testament,
as the example from the whole bible,
of how you ought to pray.
James writes in chapter 5:16
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
And then, to prove this,
he uses Elijah as his example.
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.
That’s the story that we’re going to be looking at today,
the story about Elijah’s prayer for rain.
But notice, it starts by saying,
Elijah was a man just like us,
Elijah wasn’t a superhero with a cool mask
and a red superhero cape.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no its Elijah…
No, He’s just a regular guy,
just like you and just like me.
He had no advantage over you and I,
when it came to praying,
If you have your Bibles, you can turn to 1 Kings 18.