God Answers Prayer
"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months." (James 5:17)
Do you remember the story about Elijah and King Ahab in 1 Kings 17? Elijah told King Ahab that it would not rain. How did Elijah know that God would answer his prayer for it not to rain? Maybe because he knew Deuteronomy 11:13-17.
Deuteronomy 11:13-17 contains some of God's promises and instructions for Israel before they enter the Promised Land. God says to them: if you listen to God's commandments to love and serve him with all your heart and soul, He will give you rain "in his due season," so you can gather in the crops you have planted. He will also send grass to your fields for your cattle, so you can eat and be full. He warns, however, that you need to pay attention so that you are not deceived into serving and worshipping other gods. If you serve and worship other gods, the Lord will be angry and He will "shut up the heaven, that there be no rain," Then your crops will not grow, and you will die "quickly" in "the good land which the Lord giveth you."
Read 1 Kings 16:30-33. Who was King Ahab serving? The Bible says that "he reared up an altar for Baal." God was not going to answer his prayers, because he was worshipping a false god named Baal. Instead, He answered Elijah's prayer, because Elijah worshipped and served God with his whole heart.
God wants to answer the prayers of those who worship and serve Him with their whole heart.
» Do I expect God to answer my prayers when I'm worshipping things or people other than God?
Truth In Real Life
“To love Christ more – this is the deepest need, the constant cry of my soul.”
“How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen! Well, I don’t see as I can help it.” These words are the first lines in the popular book Stepping Heavenward, written by Elizabeth Payson Prentiss. Born a “pastor’s kid” on January 15, 1815, Elizabeth was the youngest daughter of Edward Payson – a great revival preacher during the 1800s.
More than any other hobby, Elizabeth loved to write and found several opportunities to publish her work. She began writing for the press when she was just sixteen, for instance; and as an adult, she wrote the famous hymn “More Love to Thee, O Christ!” – which is still sung in churches today. Verse one of the hymn begins:
More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
Stepping Heavenward was published in 1869 as a work of fiction; but all of the events in the story actually came from Elizabeth’s personal life. Elizabeth recognized that true joy is the result of living for Christ and loving others. By 1992, over 100,000 copies of the book had been sold, and countless more have been sold since then.
Samuel Rutherford was one of the preachers whom Elizabeth admired most. He once said, “Faint not; the miles to heaven are but few and short.” No doubt his words influenced Elizabeth to title her book “Stepping Heavenward.”
What are you doing to prepare for heaven and eternity? When was the last time you really stopped to think about your eternal life after this temporary life? Are you preparing for your first meeting with Jesus Christ?
Matthew 25:13 – “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”