Praying Like Elijah #11

Saturday, February 28, 2015

“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” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

All too often today prayer is reduced to mere posture and procedure—kneel at the railing, or enter your prayer closet, cross your heart, close your eyes, bow your head, use prayer beads or prayer wheels, and recite what you have read in a prayer book. Dear friends, prayer at its fundamental level is none of those things. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Are you going to stay kneeling literally every moment? Should your eyes be closed every second? Is your head to be bowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week? If prayer is kneeling, closing eyes, and bowing heads, then yes, yes, and yes. The truth is, prayer in the Bible is not some formalistic practice, so no, no, and no!

When barren Hannah prayed to the LORD, she told the priest Eli, “I have poured out my soul before the LORD(1 Samuel 1:15). David wrote to Israel, “Ye people, pour out your heart before him (Psalm 62:8). Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” The “heart,” our soul, our innermost being, is that which we use to believe God’s Word. Prayer is speaking to God what is in our hearts, and if we have studied and believed our Bible, then we will be speaking to God what He told us. Again, this is consistent view of prayer, regardless of dispensation.

Brethren, we are to be constantly reminding ourselves of Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Meditate on these things” (1 Timothy 4:15). Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). Day in and day out, we should be thinking about God’s Word to us, reminding ourselves of what He said to us. This is Pauline prayer. This is answered prayer….

Our special edition 125th Bible Q&A: “Should we observe the Lord’s Supper?

Hophni, Phinehas, and the Millennials

Friday, October 24, 2014

“Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil doings by all this people” (1 Samuel 2:22,23 KJV).

What a striking parallel to our 21st century world!

Born between 1980 and 2000, some 80 million Americans are called the “Millennials” (or “Generation Y”), and most of them are very skeptical of organized religion (as compared to their parents). In layman’s terms, many of them have very little to no time for anything “religious” or “spiritual.” Hence, Bible-believing Christians have raised concern as to the direction of our society once older generations have expired. The next few decades will be interesting indeed, to say the least!

Many grim news stories of which we hear and read involve the Millennials—drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuousness, abortions, gang violence, college riots, murder, warped political insight, et cetera. However, regarding the many who complain about the Millennials’ defiant and outlandish lifestyles, I always wonder how many ever attempted to impact those Millennials with God’s Word. Just think, had more parents spent as little as five minutes (!) with their Millennials over an open Bible, telling them how to be saved from their sins by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, there would be fewer Millennials to arrest, imprison, indict, convict, and sentence to death!

Frankly, the priest Eli asked a very foolish question in today’s Scripture. He inquired why his sons, also priests, behaved so wickedly. According to the Scriptures, it was not until they were well into adulthood (actually, roughly the age of the Millennials!) that he—a “very old man!”—reprimanded their habitual, ungodly behavior (1 Samuel 2:22-25; cf. verses 12-17). We need not wonder why Hophni and Phinehas acted like they did!

Dear saints, the Millennials (including me!) need God’s Word more than ever. They are now adults, but God’s Word can penetrate even the most callous heart. May we be there to show them the Holy Bible when they realize they need answers to the mess in which they are! 🙂