I have been reading about the life of Elijah and have learned so much from his prayer life. One particular story, from I Kings 18:41-46, tells us about Elijah praying for rain. I wanted to share with you some points that may help and encourage you during your time of prayer. I know it has brought me encouragement. (Scripture reference is from New Living Translation)
- In vs. 41 Elijah says he hears a mighty rainstorm coming. From the very beginning Elijah is expecting to see results.
- Elijah took an assistant with him when he went to the mountain to pray. Sometimes its good to have a companion to come along side of us during our intense time of prayer.
- Elijah prayed and sent his assistant out to check for results. Elijah prayed expecting the Lord to answer. However, each time the assistant came back and said, “I didn’t see anything.” (vs.43) This repeated for six times. I don’t know how much time passed between each prayer and “I got nothing” but I do know one thing, Elijah stayed the course in his prayers. He didn’t give up.
- Finally (vs. 44) the assistant went out and came back to say, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.”
That’s all it took. A small cloud about the size of a man’s hand and Elijah shouted to get going or the rain would stop you! (vs. 44) He knew his prayers were about to be answered. Can’t you just hear the excitement in his voice? I don’t know about you but that excites me! It encourages me!
But I do wonder if Elijah got discouraged on each return from the assistant and the report of “I don’t see anything.” I wonder if on each return the assistant got a little more frustrated with Elijah? I wonder if he said something like, “It’s been six times and there is no sign of rain.” Maybe Elijah said, “I know, but go look one more time.” The assistant came back describing “a small cloud” and Elijah heard, “It’s about to pour!”
I don’t know what you are praying for today and I don’t know if you are getting discouraged. It’s hard not to when we keep getting “nothing” but I want to encourage you through the life and prayers of Elijah to keep praying. Keep looking. Keep expecting. Keep asking for just one small cloud to keep you going! Elijah’s God is your God and my God and He is the same yesterday, today and forever! So I’m praying for “one small cloud” to encourage us all!
Get ready…I hear rain!