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Elijah’s Prayer Secrets! – 1 Kings 18:41-46

03/11/2012

Elijah’s Prayer Secrets!

Text: 1 Kings 18:41-46

(Communion Sunday)

In this passage we are going to see something of Elijah’s prayer life opened up for us, so that we can learn from it!

1. Elijah’s Preparation for Prayer!

Here, Elijah is going to pray, and in answer to his prayer, God is going to stop the drought, and pour an abundance of rain upon the land!  The whole world has been trying to stop this drought.  Nothing has happened.  But one man is going to do what no-one else can do, simply through prayer.  What a mighty, effectual prayer that would be!  Now notice how Elijah prepared for this prayer:-

  1. Elijah was in the HABIT of prayer!  This was not a ‘stand-alone’ kind of prayer.  Elijah was a man who prayed continually!  Just look back over what we have learned about him:-
    1. He prayed when he called upon God to stop the rainJames 5:17-18  
    2. He prayed when the widow’s son had died1 Kings 17:20  
    3. c.        He prayed when on Mt Carmel1 Kings 18:36-37   

And all throughout Elijah’s recorded life he was in a continual conversation with God.  He was constantly being directed by the Lord to go to places and to do certain things!  You see, PRAYER ACHIEVES MIGHTY THINGS!  You can see examples of this all through the Bible.  When people pray, God makes things happen.  Get into the habit of PRAYER!

  1. Elijah was FACED WITH GREAT NEED!  Not only was there a long term preparation for this prayer, but the was an IMMEDIACY IN THE PRAYER!  And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. [42] So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,  Do you see the difference between the reaction of Ahab to the events of Mt Carmel and the reaction of Elijah.  Ahab thought of his stomach, his own material well-being, – Elijah thought of the great spiritual need of the land.  It’s only my opinion, but I think we have that problem in the visible church today.  We are not grasping the URGENCY and the IMMEDIACY of the need for prayer!

So, Elijah was prepared for this prayer.  He was a man who had already had a life of prayer, and he was already fired up with the immediacy of the need, the spiritual need of that hour!  So let’s see:-

2. Elijah’s Pattern of Prayer!

Now we might find it a bit difficult to examine the exact contacts of what Elijah said when he prayed, for the Bible doesn’t record his words, but we can certainly see the pattern of his prayer…

  1. a.        Elijah was HUMBLE in prayer! Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.  Now this is the first characteristic of true prayer – it is always HUMBLE.  Now, look at this humility in Elijah’s prayer…
    1.                i.      He withdrew to a private place, to the top of Carmel, which was very high and very private.  ( Amos 9:3  )There he would be alone. If we are going to witness for the Lord, and take a stand for Him in public, we really need to be often with him in the private place!  Jesus said, in Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
    2.              ii.      He put himself into a humble posture. He cast himself down on his knees upon the earth, in token of humility, reverence, and need, and put his face between his knees (that is, bowed his head so low that it touched his knees), thus abasing himself in the sense of his own meanness now that God had thus honoured him.  James 4:10 
  2. b.        Elijah was EXPECTANT in prayerAnd said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea.  Elijah expected God to answer!  So he sent his servant up to look for the answer!  This is the second principle of successful praying.  When you pray EXPECT AN ANSWER!
  3. Elijah was PERSISTENT in prayerAnd he said, Go again seven times. Six times his servant goes to the point of the hill and sees nothing, brings no good news to his master; yet Elijah continues praying, will not be diverted so far as to go and see with his own eyes, but still sends his servant to see if he can discover any hopeful cloud, while he keeps his mind close and intent in prayer, and abides by it, as one that has taken up his father Jacob’s resolution, I will not let thee go except thou bless me.

These are the three great principles of prayer.  Pray humbly, pray expecting an answer, pray persistently!

3. Elijah’s Powerful Answer to His Prayer!

And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.  A little cloud at length appeared, no bigger than a man’s hand, which presently overspread the heavens and watered the earth, 1Kings 18:44, 1Kings 18:45. Great blessings often arise from small beginnings, and showers of plenty from a little cloud. Let us therefore never despise the day of small things, but hope and wait for great things from it. This was not as a morning cloud, which passes away but one that produced a plentiful rain (Psa_68:9), and a promise of more.

.. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. [45] And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. [46] And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

From → 1st & 2nd Kings

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