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Elijah and the Prayer of Faith

KeyI believe that there’s something missing in our Christian experience. That’s the foundation of the next move of God – the restoration of power to His church.

What is this principle that’s eluded us for so long? The good news is that the key is recorded in the very passage we’ve been looking at for the last few posts. James goes on to illustrate the prayer of faith that he’s talking about.

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.
James 5:17-18

In these verses, James uses the prophet Elijah as an example to us. Remember that this is in the context of the prayer of faith for healing. James mentioned it three times in the previous verses. It’s clear from his comments – Elijah prayed and the rain stopped. He prayed again and the rain returned.

According to James, this is the same type of prayer that will bring healing to the sick. What are we missing? Let’s take a look at the Scripture concerning Elijah’s prayer.

But first, I need to make a disclaimer. Sometimes we, as believers, get all caught up in new prayer “formulas”. You need to be aware, right from the start, that I’m not putting forth a new wording for prayer. On the contrary, I am going to show you a new kind of lifestyle that will usher in the move of God’s power.

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
I Kings 17:1

This verse is the only one in the Old Testament that shows the events surrounding Elijah and the rain stopping. James said that Elijah prayed and the rain stopped. This is the verse he was referring to.

Have you ever prayed a prayer like this? Have you ever heard a prayer like this? As far as I can see, Elijah was talking to the king, not to God.

What exactly was the prayer in this verse? We need to understand that not all prayers fit into the “dear God” category. The scope of prayer is a lot deeper than we can fathom sometimes.

In this encounter, even though Elijah was speaking to the king, he was invoking the name of the Lord over the situation. He was speaking, on God’s behalf, to the king.

Prayer, in its simplest form, is invoking the name of the Lord into a situation. That’s what Elijah did. He was speaking out a divine truth to the king.

In my next post we’ll see what’s so important about this kind of prayer.

Question: How does this compare to your thoughts about what a prayer should be?

© 2016 Nicolas Zaccardi

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Posted by on June 10, 2016 in Healing, Prayer, Revival, What's Missing?

 

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Let it Burn – By Guest Blogger Heath Midkiff

FireLast Thursday morning, I found myself sitting in a chapel at Word of Life Inn, Schroon Lake, NY.  I was at a regional student convention, helping as a judge for various student competitions going on.  We had a morning devotional and it was Pastor Dave Sangster speaking on the topic of “Let It Burn.”

Pastor Dave was phenomenal and the message was impactful.  It made me start to think.  I wanted to apply the changes to my life and I hope it has the same effect on you.  I will be paraphrasing his devotional and adding some of my own thoughts.  I hope you enjoy!

Reading in 1 Kings 19, we see Elijah being told by God to go and anoint Elisha to succeed him as prophet. Elisha was an ordinary man and Elijah found him out plowing his fields with oxen.

Understand, that before Elijah called Elisha to follow him and succeed him as prophet, these oxen and the lands he was plowing were all Elisha owned and how he supported himself.

Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,’ he said, ‘and then I will come with you.’… So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
1 Kings 19:19-21

In this passage we see what Elisha did that solidified his commitment to working in the ministry.  He took all he had, and all he had ever known – working his fields with his oxen and equipment – and destroyed it all. He killed his oxen, and burned his equipment to cook the meat on.

Some people might call this a bit extreme; Elisha couldn’t turn back now even if he wanted to.  This is the point I want to make and why this blog is titled “Let It Burn”.  God wants the same level of commitment that Elisha showed to be evident in us.

When we feel the call on our lives from God, and we find what our ministry is, he wants to burn up whatever our plan was for our life.  It doesn’t matter how far we have moved up or how much we have achieved.

Another godly example is the author of this blog, Pastor Nick Zaccardi. He was in a great position with a great company making a good amount of money.  However, when God called him out of it and placed him in a ministry in a different state, he left without hesitation and “let burn” the taste of success he already had achieved.

Be encouraged today to spend time with God, and find out what plans He has in store for you.  And when those plans are revealed, be prepared to give up everything you know now to walk in His perfect will.

Question: How much are you willing to “let burn” for God’s calling upon your life?

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Encouragement, Guest Bloggers

 

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Come Down

II Kings 1:9-10
Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men.  The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!'”
Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!”  Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.

There is a peace that comes from being on a mountaintop, or even a hilltop.  It seems easier to seek the Lord in these places.  The sights and sounds all combine together to make your spirit more open to God.  Elijah was in such a place.  He realized that the place of prayer was a place of power before God.

Sometimes, in our Christian walk, we experience a spiritual mountaintop.  It is a place where God gives us special clarity about what’s ahead.  It is an intimate place with the Lord and usually we don’t want it to end too quickly.

In this verse the king ordered Elijah to come down from his mountaintop.  He even sent a contingent of soldiers to move Elijah off of his God-given assignment.  Unfortunately for the captain and his men, the power of God worked to remove the distraction from the prophet’s path.

In our daily lives, it is the distractions of society that order us out of the presence of the Lord.  We need to learn to remain on the mountain (at least in our hearts).  If we can continue our focus on the Lord.  Then, even when we must leave the place of prayer, His peace still remains.

Take the time today to find that place of peace with the Lord.  Spend quality time in His presence, then continue to meditate upon Him throughout the day.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Giving Up Part 2

I Kings 19:5-8
Then he [Elijah] lay down under the tree and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”  He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water.  He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”  So he got up and ate and drank.  Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

While he was on the very edge of despair, Elijah received sustenance from the Lord.  As he was running away from the stress in his life, God provided him with supernatural food to sustain him.  God knew that the journey before him was too much for his flesh to handle.  So, He provided what Elijah needed.

I will let you in on a secret.  If you are following God’s plan for your life, then your journey is more than you can take.  You will need this supernatural food to strengthen you.

That is why your life experience must have a spiritual side to it.  Meeting with God in a quiet place is one of the most powerful, life-changing events you could ever plan for.  Don’t neglect your spiritual food.

Take the time to find nourishment for your soul in the Lord’s presence.  Cast your burdens upon Him and allow His strength to revive your spirit.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Giving Up Part 1

I Kings 19:3-4
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.  When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert.  He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.  “I have had enough, LORD,” he said.  “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

Elijah is probably one of the most powerful Old Testament figures.  Through him, God performed incredible miracles to turn Israel around.  Yet at this point in his life he was ready to throw in the towel.  He actually prayed for God to take his life.

What could cause such an uncompromising individual to leave the race?  The answer lies in the first line.  “Elijah was afraid.”  The evil queen, Jezebel, had ordered his arrest and execution.  Fear had gripped his heart in spite of the presence of God in his life.

How many times do we lose sight of our calling when faced with the overwhelming problems of life?  We need to take the same path that Elijah took – but not the same attitude.  We need to run to the place of solitude with God and pour out our heart in prayer.

Just like Elijah, we need to admit our faults and failings.  Only the Lord is able to meet the need of our inner man.

Use this time to seek the Lord’s help for the challenges you face.  Confess your failures and trials.  God stands ready to enfold you in His arms.  Allow His strength to work in you the restoration that is needed.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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