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Pray Bold Prayers of Faith (1 Kings 18:41-46)

Introduction

Praying bold prayers happens when you are in very difficult situations. But you remain faithful.


Message


And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man's hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. – 1 Kings 18:41-46


Ahab was king of Israel. He was not a good king, just like the kings before him. Ahab’s wife was Jezebel. They worshipped idols including Baal, and made everyone worship Baal with them.


And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. – 1 Kings 16:30-31


Ahab treated his sins lightly. Do we look at our own sins this way? Remember that God is perfect. God cannot stand any sin. Therefore, when we sin, do not make light of it. Let us come back to God straightaway.


And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. – 1 Kings 16:33


Elijah, a man of God, went to confront king Ahab, to tell the king he was wrong and his punishment. God’s warning came in the form of having no rain for a few years.


Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” – 1 Kings 17:1


After a few years of no rain, God instructed Elijah to go to Ahab. Of course, Ahab was not pleased to see Elijah, as he thought it was Elijah who caused them to have no rain. But it was not Elijah who brought about the problem. Rather, it was Ahab and those who followed him.


After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” – 1 Kings 18:1


When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father's house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. – 1 Kings 18:17-18


And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. – 1 Kings 18:21-22


It was a daunting task for Elijah, for he was one against many. Elijah dealt with this difficulty with prayer. He did not pray for his own victory over the 450 false prophets, but he wanted everyone to recognize who God was. He saw himself merely as God’s servant. When we pray, examine ourselves. Do we pray for God to help us so that we do not look bad? Or do we ask God to turn the situation around so that all would know He is God and turn back to Him?


And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. – 1 Kings 18:36-40


This act tells us that when we crucify our old selves, we put to death all of our sins. Do not leave a single small one behind.


1. Faith in the promises of God


When God promises us things, we can have faith in His promise. It may not happen soon. But trust in His timing. He is waiting for the best time for our hearts to change to go back to Him. God said that He would send rain. Elijah did not know when, but he knew rain would be coming. He had faith in this, but he continued to pray. He did not merely wait for things to happen.


And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. – 1 Kings 18:41-43


2. Faith in the persistence for God


Elijah had a foundation for his faith. His basis was God’s promise – that God would send rain. Therefore, Elijah was able to persist and continue praying. When we pray bold prayers of faith, God may hold back. This is not because God is not good, but because God has a plan for your faith to grow stronger.


3. Faith in the power of God


And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man's hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. – 1 Kings 18:44-46


Elijah saw a little cloud, just the size of a man’s hand. Even with just this little cloud, Elijah proceeded to run to Jezreel. He believed in the impossible. He had faith in the power of God.


Closing


This miracle took many years to happen. It took a long time before God’s promise came true. If it is God’s plan and it is a promise of God, it will come true. God does not give us what we want immediately, but He answers us. Remember to stay in faith. God wants us to persist in prayer and trust in His power.


Elijah could do all this because:

1. he has a close relationship with God. God speaks to us from the bible.

2. Elijah knew God’s intention was to bring people back to Him. When we go through our daily lives, step out in the boldness of faith to bring people back to God.

3. After Elijah spoke to Ahab, he was at rest and there was no panic. Therefore, rest in the Lord.

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