In 1 Kings 18:1, we find these words: And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” God tells Elijah that it is going to rain. Elijah proceeds to pray seven times for it to rain. After the seventh prayer, God sent a drenching rain on the land.
In Revelation 5:8, John records for us: “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” There are golden bowls in heaven that hold our prayers.
In Ephesians 3:20, Paul wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” I have known this passage for years but one phrase stood out this week as I was studying…’according to the power that works in us’. If I understand this correctly, all that God is and can do is released as I allow an effectual power to work in me.
In Revelation 16:1 John also writes, Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.” God’s bowls were meant to be poured out….as a release of the contents.
Question: why did Elijah have to pray seven times asking God to send rain? God had just said He was going to cause it to rain. So why did God still want Elijah to pray for rain?
I believe that the four verses above are connected.
God desires His will to be done.
God desires a close relationship with His children.
God desires His children to grow mighty in the Lord.
God releases His power as we connect and grow.
God willed it to rain. God prompted Elijah to pray seven times. What was happening every time Elijah prayed? The essence of his prayer was captured and stored in a bowl…seven times this happened. What was happening to God? He was enjoying the fellowship…you see, every time we pray, we go into the Holy of Holies and talk to God. He enjoys this like a dad enjoys his son coming to talk. What was happening to Elijah? He was getting stronger every time he prayed for he was in the presence of God…an energy was beginning to flow through Elijah! After seven prayers, Elijah is pumped! God is having a good ole time…He has had seven sessions with one of His children. The prayer bowl is full! Now as an effectual power is working in Elijah, God is free to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! The prayer bowl is tipped over and poured out on the situation. God moves! Need is met! God gets glory! And we are growing in the Lord!
And we wonder why we have to wait and pray and pray and wait and wait and pray! It is part of God’s divine process!
James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Have a great week…spend some time filling your prayer bowl this week.
Billy and Sheilah Dawsby