Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. James 5:17, 18.
Important lessons are presented to us in the experience of Elijah. When upon Mt. Carmel he offered the prayer for rain, his faith was tested, but he persevered in making known his request unto God…. Had he given up in discouragement at the sixth time, his prayer would not have been answered, but he persevered till the answer came. We have a God whose ear is not closed to our petitions; and if we prove His word, He will honor our faith. He wants us to have all our interests interwoven with His interests, and then He can safely bless us; for we shall not then take glory to self when the blessing is ours, but shall render all the praise to God. God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon Him; for should He do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and favors He bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we should become careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon Him, and our need of His help.
Elijah humbled himself until he was in a condition where he would not take the glory to himself. This is the condition upon which the Lord hears prayer, for then we shall give the praise to Him. The custom of offering praise to men is one that results in great evil. One praises another, and thus men are led to feel that glory and honor belong to them. When you exalt man, you lay a snare for his soul, and do just as Satan would have you…. God alone is worthy to be glorified.
As he [Elijah] searched his heart, he seemed to be less and less, both in his own estimation and in the sight of God. It seemed to him that he was nothing, and that God was everything; and when he reached the point of renouncing self, while he clung to the Saviour as his only strength and righteousness, the answer came.
Conflict and Courage p.212
—–Please pray that I can get a job soon. Sammy
—–Please pray for a friend who is in terrible pain. Rich
—–Please pray for Eileen that the doctor can prescribe some different medicine or send her to a pain center. Rose
—–Please pray for the many kidnap victims that are being reported daily.
—–Please pray for a bad situation in our family. LB
—– I have a sensitive issue. I have prayed about the right thing to do, but am still torn. A six year old in preschoolers has bodily harmed two of my volunteers and several children over the last year and a half. One volunteer he pinned to the floor. She ended up needing rotator cuff surgery. Yesterday, he head butted a pregnant volunteer in the stomach and bruised her ribs in front of his mother. She was rushed to the ER. She thought she was losing her baby due to the pain. His family believes in “talking it out”. However, she said nothing. He has punched children in the backs. It isn’t every service, but when he is on a roll, it’s bad. anonymous
Some years ago, a yellow house about a mile from us that I drove by every morning on my way to work was bought by a Buddhist congregation. Things began to change slowly at first and then more rapidly. I first noticed a large banner with some type of oriental writing on it. I wondered what it said, but as time passed it just became part of my drive to work.
One day I noticed something different in the large yard to the south of the house. In the middle of the yard was an artificial “mountain” taller than the house. There were many nooks and crannies where they had placed idols of various kinds. In front of it was a large statue of Buddha . A few days later I noticed a group of people planting trees around the perimeter of the yard. They made some other changes and soon they had set up a circle of smaller statues of monks looking toward Buddha and praying.
Over the ensuing years, that congregation have continued to make their place of worship as perfect as they can. The trees have grown and will someday hide the worshippers from curious eyes. A brightly colored school-bus-yellow fence with an ornate light blue gate now skirts the property. Bright flags blowing in the Kansas wind are everywhere. Nearly every day, someone is making some improvement. It is not uncommon to see several people working diligently on the place.
As I see them, I wonder if we are as diligent in serving the One True God, the Great King of the Universe. Do we spend as much time in Bible study and prayer as they do in fixing up their idolatrous temple? Are we as sincere as they, or do we allow the world a place in our affections? Are we giving as much diligence, to “add to [our] faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, And to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, And to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity” that we may be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has given His All for us? Our Loving Redeemer promises, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer 29:13 “Keep thy heart with all diligence.” Prov 4:23 “What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.” Deut 10:12-14 “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.” Ps 119:2-4
Let us heed our Dear Saviour’s command, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matt 22:37 Let us determine as did David, “I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.” Ps 119:69 Let us spend our energies on having a close relationship with the Great Creator of All, giving diligence to make our calling and election sure, that someday soon we may worship Him face to face.