A call to pray… like Elijah prayed.
Over past months I have kept coming back to the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17- 19 and his national context. I have been really provoked by his faith along with the Apostle James’ encouragement in chapter 5:13-18 to model ourselves on Elijah in a time of national/international crisis because our prayers have such effective significance…
Along with this encouragement I have seen many parallels in Elijah’s story with our own in the season that we are in… here are the prophetic thoughts about this story:
First, it’s about the state of our nation.
The idolatry, the perversion, the greed. It’s time for us to say enough – to join with heaven and say it’s enough and plead with God to act. For too long we have been passive and have stayed silent.
Like Lot who ‘was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard’ (2 Pe 2:8) it is time for our righteous souls to be stirred by the injustice we see, the moral decline all around us and the plight of millions who are without hope in the world.
It’s time to say ENOUGH!
Second, it’s about the revival we’ve been praying for.
I know we have prayed for revival, for a move of God that will sweep the earth, some of us for years and years – for many more than Elijah’s 6 months, we have cried out to God and said please do what you have done before and come in power… but here is the thing – before the outpouring was the famine and the drought.
Third, it’s a time of the famine and drought… which as we can see in the passage was not to punish the world so much as to get his peoples’ attention. So, has he? Has he got the attention people of God? Because revival always starts with the people of God… I know it is easy to disengage, to literally switch off church at the moment, to opt out at the very time that God is calling us to pray.
No big meetings and celebrity preachers and personalities to carry us this time. It is on us. Each of us seeking and finding God for ourselves, our families and our nation.
Fourth, it’s about the prophetic voice of the church.
I believe this is the time for the church to speak up and speak out to allow its prophetic voice to be heard. This great ‘pray off’ with the prophets of Baal – a day of confrontation, and then the fire will fall.
I believe that we are entering a season of confrontation and competition which for some this will be about spiritual warfare – prayer like never before. For others is will be about money and health. For some it will be about personal safety and for others about the need and opportunity to speak out and speak up.
But in this season, we will like Elijah see some powerless idols fall and the true God of the universe make himself known… because ultimately…
Fifth, it’s about a great outpouring – the sound of the abundance of rain. I truly believe that this is all leading to a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the like of which we have never seen before… that many will be saved, and even nations changed but for now the church must pray, but not any old prayer…
Finally, it’s about the prayer of faith
Elijah stood before King Ahab and said I come from the living God in his Presence I stand. His prayers were founded on this unshakable foundation that God was real, that He was alive and powerful. This is the prayer of faith talked about by James, described in Hebrews 11:6
Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Prayer which is grounded on the conviction of God’s existence and imminence. Elijah was a human being just like us and he prayed world changing nation shaping prayers. This is the challenge for us – do we believe it? Does he really exist? Do our prayers really have any effect?
It starts with us – the people of God. Right now, the world needs the powerful and effective prayers of righteous people. We must not underestimate the importance of our prayers. Now is the time to pray and change the world!
Days of Elijah