Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Confident Praying

Elijah said to Ahab, "Up on your feet!
Eat and drink–celebrate!
Rain is on the way;I hear it coming!"
Things happened fast. And God strengthened Elijah mightily...
Elijah ran in front of Ahab’s chariot.

I Kings 18:41, 45-46a (The Message)

Elijah was a prophet who didn’t move through life easily or smoothly. He did, however, speak the truth, walked with God and prayed, energetically. In chapter 17 of I Kings, Elijah prays over the dead son of a widow, O God, my God...Why have you killed her son? His prayer confidence got results! Scripture says, God listened to Elijah’s prayer and put breath back into the son's body.

Now a three year Elijah predicted drought had settled in on the land and the people of Israel were desperate. They were looking at other "god" possibilities that might help them out. Having spent time talking with God over the crisis, Elijah puts together a "god" competition (read the whole of I Kings 18)–the earth bound god Baal against I AM. For hour upon hour the prophets of Baal cried out full throttle but all they managed were hoarse voices. Elijah, on the other hand, confidently approaches the altar and prays, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God...reveal to this people that you are God, the true God. That’s all it took! God responded with such intense fire that the altar and everything around it was incinerated. Sheets of rain followed as well as God giving Elijah so much energy he out ran a chariot of horses! All a result of praying with confidence.

Praying confidently–it’s a thought worth pondering. When we pray is it with the confidence of Elijah or do we make ourselves hoarse with our Baal crying?

Jesus, thank you for listening to me!
Teach me how to talk to you
with "Elijah confidence" believing
that no matter the circumstances
you will give methe energy to out run the horses.
Image--Slaughter of Prophets of Baal, Gustave Dore, 1864.

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