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Thirsty for change? Jan 3rd

January 2, 2018

This week from the story of Elijah we have seen what we should start doing and then yesterday what we should stop doing but today as we enter 2018 what is the thing we should keep doing? Pray!

I don’t know about you but I don’t feel much like Elijah – he was fed by ravens, brought the son of a widow back to life and prayed and fire fell from heaven and he also started and stopped a drought. WOW but the source of all these things was a life of prayer. So in 2018 let us keep praying and see what the Lord can do in and through us.  

So the next principle to see God’s power released in and through your life is simply – ASK GOD 

As another verse in James (incidentally whose nick name was camel knees as he spent so much time on his knees praying so also knew a thing or two about prayer) summarises

‘You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.’ James 4:8

But what can we learn from Elijah’s prayers in 1 Kings 18

1. Just ask –  v 37 compare the way the prophets of Baal prayed.

2. Ask in the name of Jesus – v32 the Lord answers prayers when we pray as he commands and for us that is in the name of Jesus. Jesus is the tabernacle (the cross the altar,  the sacrifice made) that when we pray in and through the name of Jesus, God answers with fire. So let us pray in his name.

3. Ask for God to turn hearts –  v37 God looks at our hearts and he will use our prayers to turn our hearts and others back to him which may mean the prayers for our selfish motives may not be answered as we wish.

4. Persevere – v42-44 – keep praying. If we give up we either do not believe in what we are praying for or we do not believe in the God as revealed In Jesus.

But perhaps the most important principle to learn from Elijah’s prayer is

5. Pray the word – v36 Elijah knew his prayer would be answered as he was doing what God had said. Also he knew that there would be a drought because he knew and and prayed Deuteronomy 11:16-17. He then knew how the drought would end as he prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14. So if we want effective prayer we need to pray the Word – use the prayers in scripture, pray its promises, let is give you specific words to pray your situation. So make the bible part of your prayers and it will change the way and effectiveness of your prayers. 

To emphasise the importantce of this I will end with a quote from George Muller a famous and effective Christian in Bristol who the Lord used in amazing ways and who felt a significant change to his prayer life changed when he began to pray the Word. So keep praying in 2018 and try and pray the Word.

“I went accordingly to my room, and locked my door, and putting the Bible on a chair, I went down on my knees at the chair. There I remained for several hours in prayer and meditation over the word of God; and I can tell you that I learned more in those three hours which I spent in this way, than I had learned for many months previously.”

‘Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed the morning. Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditation, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.
The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give to prayer but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less to prayer’ ~ George Muller

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