Morning by Morning, Tuesday 9-1-09 -- Fervent, Passionate, Tenacious Prayer

 

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Show me Your way, teach me Your truth, lead me into the fullness of Your life. Let me hear what Your Spirit is saying to Your Church, let me hear what the Good Shepherd is saying to Your sheep, let me hear what my Lord and my God is speaking to me.  ...

 

"Elijah said to Ahab, 'Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of rushing rain.' So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees" (1 Kings 18:41-42).

 

You moved in Elijah's heart to declare to Ahab that the season of drought was over, that the season of rain was on its way. But at the time of his bold declaration in the faith of Your word, the land was still dry and the sky was still clear. So You moved in his heart to pray what was prophesied. Ahab went to go eat, but Elijah went to go pray. Elijah did not take it for granted that the prophecy of breakthrough would passively come to pass. He knew he was called to not only prophesy but also to pray. And as James, the brother of Jesus, would later recount to encourage to the Church in times of trial to pray like Elijah, "he prayed fervently" (James 5:17-18).

 

With his head to the ground and his face between his knees, Elijah prayed until that prophecy came to pass. Like a woman pregnant with the promises of God, he travailed in prayer and pushed to birth the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. As they say, to "PUSH" in prayer is to "Pray Until Something Happens." The breakthrough in the heavens in power was dependent upon the breakthrough on earth through prayer. In Your sovereignty You have chosen to move on earth in response to prayer. "If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray, seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, the I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). So Elijah was never content to only prophesy the truth, he fervently, passionately prayed for Your truth to be expressed, for Your kingdom to come, and for Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

Even as he prayed, at first he saw nothing (1 Kings 18:43). So he continued to pray. To pray "fervently" is to pray passionately from the heart, believing Your word will come to pass and Your promises will be fulfilled. So he looked again, through the eyes of his servant, as he kept his face to the ground and his spirit engaged, but still saw nothing. But he didn't give up and didn't give in. He didn't doubt whether he had heard You wrong. He didn't question whether his words of breakthrough and prayers for awakening were wishful thinking or false prophecy. He just kept praying -- fervently praying, passionately from his heart with His faith in You. He looked again. Nothing. Just dry ground and clear sky, just like it had been for a long time. Maybe he was even tempted with the thought from the enemy of his soul and the adversary of Your kingdom to think "Things will never change" or "Things are bad and they can only get worse" or "If God was going to show up and do something, surely He would have done it by now."

 

Would he give up or would he pray? Would he look at the circumstances or look to God? Would he doubt or would he believe? Elijah, whose very name means "The Lord is my God", just kept praying -- fervently praying, fervently pushing until something happened. Six times he looked and six times there was nothing. Six times Elijah had a chance to give up the promise and give in to doubt, but every time, Elijah persisted in persevering prayer. He was stubbornly tenacious, like a bulldog in the Spirit -- just like when the widow's son died and he kept on praying, refusing to give up, until he had stretched out in prayer three times, calling life again to arise in the dead body of the boy until the breakthrough came (1 Kings 17:21). What was dead became alive, awakened into newness of life, revived and resurrected for the glory of God. Elijah knew that breakthrough comes through prayer -- fervent, passionate, tenacious prayer that keeps on believing the assured certainty of God's eternal word more than the seeming certainty of present circumstances. "Happy are those whose help is in the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God" (Psalm 146:5).

 

Elijah looked a seventh time. Seven speaks of completion. He prayed until it was done. A cloud appeared out of nowhere, as if rising from the sea (1 Kings 18:44). What was always there in the provision of God in the spiritual realm, the heavenly realm, became manifested in the natural realm, the earthly realm. Yet even that cloud was but a first sign of the mighty abundance of a rushing rain to come. But Elijah knew he had prayed through, that breakthrough had begun, and that the rain of Your breakthrough blessings was on its way. Filled with faith, he told Ahab he better run because all heaven was about to break loose and come pouring down (v. 18:44-45).

 

Even then, it was still "a little while" until "the heavens grew black with clouds and wind" until "there was a heavy rain" (v. 18:45). But Elijah knew he had persevered and pushed through in prayer until the promise and prophecy of God was birthed on earth, in the natural realm of earth as it was in the spiritual realm of heaven. He was an example and forerunner of the responsibility and authority You've entrusted to us as children of God and disciples of Christ (Psalm 115:16; Matthew 16:18-19). The circumstances of great darkness and barrenness in a dry and thirsty land became the opportunity for a great display of the glory and goodness of the God of Elijah.

 

So it is in the circumstances of our day. And so it is our call to pray -- to pray like Elijah -- fervently, passionately, tenaciously for the breakthrough in the heavens and the awakening in our land that we've prophesied and prayed so long to see. Like Elijah, who knew that the Lord is God, let us not give up, not give in, but keep pressing through the circumstances and pressing into God, persevering and pushing in prayer until something happens.

 

This is the first day of the ninth month on our calendar. Nine speaks of the final month of preparation for birth. Lord, let it be so in this day. Give us a holy tenacity to persevere in fervent prayer until we see the birth of this new day in the Spirit, the day of breakthrough and awakening. When we don’t yet see it, let us keep praying. Even when we see the first signs of the cloud of Your presence and fulfillment of Your promise, let us keep praying. Before Elijah could ever see it with his eyes, he heard it in his spirit -- "the sound of rushing rain" (1 Kings 18:41).

 

"O that You would open up the heavens and come down.... When You did awesome deeds that we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who works for those who wait for Him" (Isaiah 64:1-4). "Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it" (Isaiah 45:8). O Lord, let us hear the sound of rushing rain as we persevere by Your grace in fervent, passionate, tenacious prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

 

Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays

 

Friends, I'm leading a Prayer Revival each night at 7pm through Wednesday at Westside Community United Methodist Church south of Danville, KY. If you're in the area, come join us if you can and pray for us if you can't. We're expecting a major spiritual breakthrough in Kentucky this year, and I pray the same for your region and nation. I think I'll be sharing many of these same themes of prayer and revival when I'm ministering across the Country of Estonia in Northeastern Europe in October and would appreciate your prayers or preparation for us now and all the Lord may desire to do. God bless you!

 

Our Monday Night Prayer for Israel Group is hosting a Worship & Praise Service this Friday Sept 4 at 7 PM at Pathway Church, 2601 Clays Mill Rd in Lexington, KY (formerly called Southland Evangelical Methodist Church). Pastor Krista Hampton from River of Life Church in Paris will bring a message with the River of Life Praise Team; Hebrew Music by Vicki Welch, Shofar by Belinda Sanchez. Please come and spread the word! Contact Doris McCray for details:  bndmccray@windstream.net

 

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