Praying Like Elijah #1

Wednesday, February 18, 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?

A preacher recently said that his ministry has received over 93 million prayer requests through the years. He estimated that there were “several million” answers to prayer. Yet, what happened to the tens of millions of prayer requests that went “unanswered?” Did God not deem them worthy of an answer? If you were to survey Christians about their prayer lives, there would be an overwhelming response and great concern about unanswered prayer. For example, the aforementioned preacher discussed how he had even prayed over a lifeless girl’s body, and how God never did bring her back! Why is it that people often pray for one outcome and the very opposite occurs?

To further complicate the matter, Jesus said He would do whatsoever we asked in His name: “[13] And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [14] If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it(John 14:13,14). Matthew 18:19 is often appealed to regarding prayer: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” And yet, when two Christians join in prayer, believing exactly what Jesus said, the verses do not work the way one would expect. Why?

Can you see why unanswered prayer is such a sensitive subject? What was to be a blessing is now a burden! What is going on? Does the Almighty throw away prayer requests? If our prayer requests go unanswered, then why bother to pray at all? Elijah in today’s Scripture provides valuable insight into this most personal and most perplexing topic….

The Spirit of God and the Word of God #5

Saturday, March 23, 2013

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13 KJV).

As today’s Scripture demonstrates, the Spirit of God never operates apart from the Word of God.

In the Old Testament, King David said, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2).

The Apostle Peter wrote of the Old Testament prophets: “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:10,11).

Peter elaborates in 2 Peter 1:20,21: “Knowing this first, that no scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

In Bible days, there were both preaching prophets and writing prophets. Some would speak forth God’s Word (Elijah, Elisha, et al.), others wrote it (David, Joel, et al.), and some prophets spoke it and wrote it (Daniel, Jeremiah, et cetera). Regardless of their ministry, it was the same Holy Spirit working in all of God’s prophets. This is true in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

When speaking of the spiritual gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:4,8,9,11 say: “Now there are many diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;… But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally [individually] as he will.”

The Holy Spirit gave believers spiritual gifts to further God’s Word before it was written down. Let us see how the Holy Ghost works today in light of the written, completed Holy Bible….

The LORD, He is the God

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God” (1 Kings 18:39 KJV).

Is the LORD of the Bible (JEHOVAH) one of many gods, or is He the only God? Today’s Scripture and its context definitively answer this question.

King Ahab and Queen Jezebel are some of the most notorious rulers in the Bible. Reigning over Israel (the northern kingdom) from approximately 874–853 B.C., Ahab and Jezebel introduced Baal worship among God’s people Israel, angering God and misleading the Jews (Baal was a pagan god of the neighboring Canaanites) (1 Kings 16:29-33). Jezebel also killed many of the LORD’S prophets, who were speaking out against she and Ahab’s wickedness (1 Kings 18:4,13).

Ahab and God’s prophet Elijah meet, and Elijah instructs Ahab to gather Baal’s 450 prophets and the 400 grove (pagan shrine) prophets and bring them to Mount Carmel (verses 17-20).

When Israel and Baal’s prophets are assembled at Carmel, Elijah tells Israel, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him” (verse 21). In the succeeding verses, Elijah proposes a test to see who is God: if JEHOVAH rains down fire and consumes the animal sacrifice, He is God, but if Baal rains down fire and devours the sacrifice, then he is God (verses 23,24).

Baal’s prophets present an animal sacrifice and repeatedly call to Baal from morning to evening, but neither fire nor voice came from Baal, and the sacrifice remains untouched (verses 25-29).

Elijah then lays out an animal sacrifice, and calls on JEHOVAH: “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel… that this people may know that thou art the LORD God….” (verses 36,37). Immediately, fire rains down from heaven, consuming the wood, the water, the dust, and the burnt sacrifice. After Israel saw that, Israel knew that pagan idols were not God, and they responded with today’s Scripture, “The LORD [JEHOVAH], he is the God!”