Gene Cunningham - September 11, 2000

Elijah #9

Jesus speaks of prayer with tremendous confidence we often lack (Mat 7:7-12). Lord always places emphasis on the answers which will always be the best. If we ask for His kindness, goodness, compassion, grace, we must reflect those characteristics that we depend upon from Him when relating to others. Failure to act in accordance with what we know about Him in effect deprives us of fellowship with Him and interferes with the answers we seek in prayer. Elijah prayed for three and a half years (1Ki 18:41-46, Jam 5:17-18). Jesus uses verb tenses that mean "ask and keep on asking". Asking according to His will is paramount (1Jo 5:14-15). (1) Pray demands isolation from distraction (1Ki 18:41). (2) Praying God's Word - His promises - is necessary (1Ki 18:41-42). (3) Prayer expresses dependence on God. Elijah recognizes the conditions of God's promises -- timing depends upon prayer. He knows God will send rain, but doesn't know when. Jesus commands to pray always (Luk 18:1). (3) We need to expect an answer (1Ki 18:43). (5) Pray perseveres until the answer comes (1Th 5:17, Luk 18:1, Mat 26:41 - "Watch and pray"). God can answer far above what we can think (Eph 3:19-20). (6) P prayer includes suitable action (1Ki 18:44-45, 1Pe 1:18). We rejoice in our tribulation -- outcome is up to God, but will always glorify Christ (Rom 5:3, Phi 1:20). We must "gird up" with truth (Eph 6:14) (7) prevailing prayer empowers us spiritually. Elijah ran ahead - "the hand of the Lord was upon him" because the ear of the Lord was attentive (Neh 2:18). We can run th race of faith (1Ki 18:46) or race of unbelief (1Ki 19:1-3). Outline of 1 Kings 19: (1) 1Ki 19:1-18 fear and flight; (2) 1Ki 19:8-18 correction; (3) 1Ki 19:19-21 greater service. Those who've not stared into the glare of Satan through his human instrument. Elijah knows he had been set up for sifting. As God allows the weakness of the saint surface, He never stops providing (Heb 1:14). Sooner or later, confrontation is coming. In us dwells no good thing; refining produces a sense of dependence.

Scripture References: John 5:14-15, Philippians 1:20, James 5:17-18, Romans 5:3, Matthew 7:7-12, Ephesians 3:19-20, Matthew 26:41, Hebrews 1:14, Luke 18:1, Nehemiah 2:18, Luke 18:1, Ephesians 6:14

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Elijah's life shows us the keys to spiritual power: the power of God's Word faith prayer revival and failure.

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