In this audio message given on July 23, 2017 and in this article Pastor Bob examines the powerful prayer ministry of Elijah in 1 Kings 18. This is such an amazing passage that it is held up as an example for people to follow in the book of James. You will learn how to listen to the voice of God, make your declaration of faith, and pray until the supernatural world manifests itself in the natural. You can be an Elijah of God as you have been given access to God. If you need encouragement to pray, this is a must listen to message.
Sometimes churches or people go through spiritually dry times. Everyone faces difficult moments when it seems like the blessings of God are far away. However, those seasons can change. There is incredible power in prayer. How you react to a time of spiritual difficulty has great implications for your life. In this article, I will examine how to hear from God, make a declaration of faith, and pray until you receive an answer.
Imagine with me a beautiful flower garden. The roses and crepe myrtles are in bloom. The flowers are vibrant and colorful. The grass is lush and green. The trees are stately and beautiful. Now, imagine that same scene after a three and one-half year drought. Nothing is green. Trees that once were fervent and green would rise from the ground as huge dead sticks. The grass would have been dead the first year, broken off the second year, and turned to dust by the third year. Large cracks would have appeared in the soil. Despair would have taken over the populace as all reserve water is used up.
This was the scene that God brought ancient Israel to. Israel had left the God of heaven and had served the Baals. The Baals were those ancient demon backed idols that promised prosperity and fertility. The queen of that day was named Jezebel. She was a wicked woman who persecuted anyone known to serve Jehovah.
The drought had been spoken into existence by a powerful man of God, a prophet by the name of Elijah. He had told the king, it will rain until I say it will rain. Under the Spirits direction, God had used Elijah to bring a nation to a point of desperation. The last of the wells were almost dry. And of course, God had spoken to Elijah that the season was about to change.
A confrontation had finally ensued. It is one of the greatest events in the Bible. The prophets of Baal versus Jehovah God and Elijah. The challenge had been given that the God who answers by fire was indeed God. The priest of Baal had danced around and cut themselves and cried out, but no fire had fallen on the sacrifice. Elijah takes water, pours it over the sacrifice, drenches the wood, and prays a short prayer. The fire falls from heaven consuming the sacrifice, the wood, the water, and even the altar itself.
At that moment the people realize, that Jehovah was indeed God. Their hearts turn back toward Him. Spiritual victory is won. The nations heart has turned back toward Jehovah God.
With that history in mind we pick up the story in 1 Kings 18: 41-45 “Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”
Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’” Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain.”
This Old Testament passage is more than just a story of how God and His prophet turned Israel back to God. It is lifted up in the New Testament as a model of prayer for Christians of today. We can have the same fervency and effectiveness.
James 5:16-18 “But now the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
Elijah prayed with fervency and his prayer was effective as he prevailed with God. The beautiful thing about this New Testament passage is that it shows us that Elijah was just like us. He had a nature like we have. He was human with faults and frailties. This verse challenges you and I to step up and into the spiritual battle all around us and pray for a spiritual climate change.
If you are concerned about the spiritual conditions around you, there is something you can do. If you wonder why Christianity has become such a casual thing with many. There is something you can do. If you are in a dry moment, or your church is in a dry moment. There is something you can do. You can pray. You are the key. You have access to Almighty God. You can pray as effectively and fervently as Elijah and God will hear and answer you to turn things around. I challenge you to make a declaration of faith as Elijah did.
FOUR THINGS WE NEED TO DO THAT ELIJAH DID (If We Want To See Spiritual Rain Fall)
- WE CAN’T GET DISCOURAGED BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT (Spiritual Conditions) AROUND US
Sometimes Christians get discouraged by the way things are going. It becomes easy to focus on the negative. It can become easy to focus on the dryness of the land, the difficulties our families are going through, and the trials we are facing. Life can seem dry. Church can seem lifeless. Our culture can seem sinful.
It is not time for those who are believers in Christ to grow discouraged. We should do what Elijah did. Elijah grew closer to God during the drought. He decided to pray to the one who could change things. He decided to be with God like never before. He lifted up his eyes, knowing that his help came from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. At the brook, or at the widow’s house, wherever he was, he was going after God.
He knew that God could bring Israel’s heart back to Him. He knew God would eventually be merciful and send rain.
Let me give you a natural scenario and then a spiritual promise: Here is the good news. Every drought there has ever been has been broken by rain. Some may have been severe, but God always sent rain. What is true in the natural is true in the spiritual. Your drought will come to an end. Your churches drought can come to an end.
Did you know the 1930’s were known as the “Dirty Thirties,” the Dust Bowl period was the most destructive drought the United States has ever faced. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), at least 50,000,000 acres of land were affected. Poor soil management practices made matters worse; without native prairie grasses or cover crops to keep soil in place, the Great Plains quite literally turned to dust and blew away in enormous dust storms dubbed “black rollers” or “black blizzards.”
But God in his mercy finally sent rain to that part of the world. Today those same lands produce many tons of grain and food. Why? Because every drought ends in rain. You may feel you are in a drought today. Everything may be going wrong in your world. You can’t find a job. Your prayer life is lacking. Your kids are away from God. Your family is messed up. All you can envision is more fussing and fighting and anger.
Now is not the time to despair. Now is the time to cry out to God. This is his promise for you if you are in a drought.
“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.”
This promise speaks of natural water, but also of spiritual restoration as well.
2. MUST HAVE EARS (Spiritual Ears) TO HEAR WHAT GOD IS GOING TO DO
When you go after God in the dry times of life, God will give you spiritual ears to be able to hear his voice and direction. As believers in a supernatural God, we do not live by what we see or hear in the natural. We live by faith not by sight.
Revelation 3:6 gives us Jesus words. “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Fortunately, Elijah’s ears were attuned. 1 Kings 18:1 “After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year of the drought,[a] saying, ‘Go, present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain on the earth.’
Elijah had sought God to the degree he could hear the word of the Lord. He could hear the gentle whisper of the spirit saying, “I will send rain.”
When God gives you a word. When God speaks to your spirit. You don’t just tuck it in your heart and forget about it. You start to incubate it. Like a seed planted in the ground, it begins to grown inside you. You dream it. You see it. With eyes of faith, you imagine it.
You start listening more. And as you believe it and receive it that little promise starts to grow. What began as an idea, becomes real to you. It is almost as though you are pregnant with the Word. What began small down on the inside of your spirit becomes bigger.
I am not sure how much physical time took place between 1 Kings 18:1 and 18:41. But I do know one thing. The gentle whisper in the spiritual ears of Elijah had grown into a mighty thunder storm. The promise became so real to him, He could start hearing it begin to manifest. Because once the nation turned back to God. Elijah said with confidence.
1 Kings 18:41 “Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”
Let’s not forget the situation. It hasn’t rained in 3.5 years. A drought is on. There isn’t anything green as far as your eye can see. There is dust on the ground. And the hottest bluest sky with a blazing sun and not a cloud in the sky. But that didn’t matter. He heard what he heard. And God does not lie! Elijah heard what was going to happen in the God realm.
3. WE MUST MAKE A DECLARATION OF FAITH
Elijah made a declaration of faith.
1 Kings 18:41 “Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” In the midst of circumstances that seemed impossible. Right in front of the king. He declared. “It’s coming! Rain is coming! Flowers are coming. Green grass is coming. Fruit is coming. Blessing is coming.
He declared it as a fact in spite of the fact that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! You may not realize it, but your words are powerful. Job 22:28 states:
“You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways.”
If you are fussing with your wife and begin to declare, I will divorce you, your words have power. It is more likely to come to pass. If you declare that the enemy will not bring division. That is what will come to pass. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Do you mean to tell me, I can do the same thing Elijah did? I can declare a thing and it will be established? Yes! 2 Corinthians 4:13 says “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,”[a] we also believe and therefore speak,” What you believe is going to come out of your mouth. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So the challenge is for us to declare faith and the greatness of our God in spite of the conditions around us.
When you hear the sweet whisper of the Spirit in your ear. Declare it! Make a declaration of faith! Here are some of the things I am declaring for Fountain of Life.
This is what I hear:
I hear the sound of people in the altars seeking God and praying.
I hear the sound of people being born again
I hear the sound of men repenting of their sins.
I hear the sound of women turning their hearts over to Jesus.
I hear the sound of people testifying to the saving power of Jesus before they are baptized in water.
I hear the sound of praise and worship with such a touch of God that hearts melt before God.
I hear the sound of tears running down cheeks as God touches them.
I hear the sound of joy as blessings come.
I hear the sound of fathers teaching their children.
I hear the sound of people loving each other in spirit and truth.
I hear the sound of teams knocking on doors.
I hear the sound of children coming in.
I hear the sound of a youth revival.
Why do I make such declarations? I believe therefore I speak. I believe that God wants these things to happen.
- WE MUST PRAY UNTIL WE SEE THE ANSWER
Elijah just didn’t stop there. He didn’t just go home. He had made a bold faith filled declaration based upon what his spirit had heard in a promise from God and what he had heard with his spiritual ears. But he knew the battle wasn’t over.
Elijah was willing to prevail in prayer until he saw the spiritual world manifested in the natural world. There are a lot of people who tap into the dimension of spiritual faith, some who even make a declaration, but not many hang on to it until it manifests. What you see in the spiritual world can manifest, and what you declare can make itself known in the natural world. But you have to pray for it.
1 Kings 18:42-44 “And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, 43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” 44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!”
The scripture doesn’t record what Elijah said. The scripture does tell us that he bowed seven times. We don’t know what he said. We don’t know if he groaned or talked out loud. We don’t know how long it was between each session. We don’t know a lot about this. But what we do know, is that he stayed in that humbled position before God until what he was believing for manifested from the spirit world into the natural.
We have to pray until the answer comes. Do you honestly believe according to this Word that what we pray about will manifest itself? If that is you, then don’t give up. Elijah told his servant seven times…go again. Seven times in the face of six negative reports. But finally the answer came back.
1 Kings 18:44-45 “Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’” 45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain.”
Faith works. Will you comment below as to what you are believing God for? I challenge you to make a declaration of faith!