And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel, and he bowed himself down on the earth, and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now. Look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time, he said, “Behold, a little cloud, like a man’s hand, is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, prepare your chariot and go down lest the rain stop you.” And in a little while, the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab road and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah. And he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
-1 Kings 18:42–46
Oh, I love, this whole chapter is awesome. First Kings, chapter 18 starts with Elijah confronting Ahab and calling Ahab and the people of God to worship God alone. That leads to fire falling from heaven in response to Elijah’s prayers. And then, so there’s been drought for years, and now, God calls Elijah to go up on a mountain. And Elijah starts to pray for the rain to come. And he says to his servant, “Go, look toward the sea. Look for clouds.” And servant comes back, says, “There’s nothing.” And he says this seven times, and the whole time Elijah has his face between his knees. He’s bowing down on the earth, and he is praying for rain. Oh, see the picture. Elijah persevering in prayer. He keeps praying, and he keeps praying, and he keeps praying until the rain comes and the heavens grow black with clouds and wind. And there was a great rain, verse 45 says.
It was his perseverance in prayer that led to victory in that battle.
I read this, and I think about Jesus telling a parable, saying he taught them this parable to teach them always to pray and never give up. And I just want to encourage you today to never give up in prayer. I’m guessing there may be something or some things that you have been praying for a long time, and you are tempted to give up in praying for that thing, and praying for that person, and praying for whatever it is. And I want to encourage you to keep pressing on in prayer, to not give up. There are stories like this, First Kings 18. I think about Daniel, when he is praying, and praying, and praying, and then, he receives a message. The angel, the Lord telling him that there was a battle raging in the heavenly as he was praying.
And it was his perseverance in prayer that led to victory in that battle. I don’t understand how all this works. I don’t know why God doesn’t always answer just like that in first time we pray, and sometimes, he does. But sometimes, he doesn’t. I always think about Heather and I praying, and praying, and praying, and praying for years, and years, and years for her mom to come to know Christ, to trust in Christ, to experience new life in Christ. And then, one day, it happened. One day, after years and years, and years, it happened, and had the privilege of baptizing her. And just a couple of months later, she died unexpectedly. I am so grateful we didn’t give up in praying. God heard those prayers, and God answered those prayers to believe. Don’t let the adversary lead you to doubt that God is hearing your prayers. Keep pressing on.
So, God, we pray right now, for all these things on our minds and our hearts for people to come to know Christ that we’ve been praying for, for circumstances in our lives that are coming to our minds. God, I pray for our son, that you would bring him from this other country. You would bring us to him that we’ve been waiting for 18 months now to go, and get, and adopt into our family. God, I pray again today for your provision. God, we pray together for the things that are heavy on our hearts, that are constantly on our minds, that we’re constantly bringing before you. And so, we pray with faith that you are hearing us, with faith that you are wise, with faith that you are good, with faith that you will provide according to your wisdom, and your goodness, and your power.
So, we keep pressing and we bow ourselves before you. We put a face between our knees, and God, we pray. We pray. We pray for your provision in all these ways that are on our hearts and minds right now. And we trust that you hear us, and you will answer, and your wisdom, and your timing in ways that are good and glorifying to you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. And we pray that you’d help us to persevere in praying this in Jesus’ name. Amen.