TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 18:41-46
TO CHEW ON: "Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 'Go and look toward the sea,' he told his servant. And he went up and looked. 'There is nothing there," he said. Seven times Elijah said, 'Go back.'" 1 Kings 18: 42,43
God sent the fire to burn Elijah’s sacrifice. Elijah killed all the Baal prophets. But there was more to come. For God told Elijah He would send rain on dry, dusty Israel. Even though the sun was still blazing from the cloudless sky, Elijah was sure that God would keep His promise. “Rain is coming,” he told Ahab.
Then Elijah went to the top of Carmel, got on his knees and began praying for rain. After he had prayed for a while, he sent his servant to check the distant horizon.
“Nothing,” the servant told Elijah when he got back.
Elijah prayed some more. Then he sent the servant to look again.
Again the servant saw nothing – no clouds, no sign of rain.
Five more times Elijah prayed and sent his servant to check the horizon.
- How do you think Elijah felt as he prayed and prayed but still there was no sign of rain?
- What do you think kept him praying even though his prayer wasn’t answered right away?
Finally, the seventh time, the servant came back shouting, “There’s a small cloud, rising from the sea.”
Elijah got up from his knees. “Go tell Ahab to get off this mountain before he gets caught in the rain,” he commanded.
In no time the wind had picked up, the sky was black and big drops of rain were pounding the dust. People rushed off the mountain toward home, but not fast enough to avoid getting drenched in the welcome rain.
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to keep praying even when You don’t answer right away. Amen.
MORE: Prayer and Answer Journal
We don’t know why God answers some prayers immediately, others after a short while and still others only after a long time. But we do know that when God has put a desire in us to pray for something, and a promise that He will answer, we need to keep praying until that answer comes.
To help you look for and recognize the times God answers your prayers, start a “Prayer and Answer Journal.”
What you need:
- a lined school notebook, a ruler, black or blue pen or pencil and a red pen or pencil.
What to do:
1. Draw a line down the middle of each page to divide it into two columns.
2. Label the left columns “Prayers” (using black or blue pen/pencil) and the right columns “Answers” (using red pen/pencil)
3. Write (and date) the things you are praying for (in black or blue) under “Prayers” on the left.
4. When God answers your prayers, enter the answers in the right column (in red). Date them too.
When you are watching for answers to your prayers, you won’t miss them as easily. All the answers you write down will encourage your faith and help you to keep praying.