Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Friday, May 17, 2013

Prayer God Loves to Answer

For years I have been mystified by passages like James 5:17-18; "Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops."

What is the key to praying bold prayers that God answers with a yes? What kind of prayer "moves mountains"? I'm coming to learn context is everything and so is our heart's desire.

I acknowledge that God is capable of making the sun stand still, parting the Red Sea, causing a three and a half year drought, even of raising the dead. But does an awareness of God's ability translate into faith? Faith is an intimate understanding that God is who he says he is and will do what he has said he will do, our faith is a response to his faithfulness.

What enabled a man, just like us, to pray an audacious prayer that God answered? I believe context is key. Elijah was intimate with the heart of God, he understood God's purposes in his generation, and acted in accordance with God's plan. Elijah's faith in God's faithfulness, belief in his power, and awareness of God's purpose in that time and place led him to pray with confidence.

Israel needed to be reminded of God's authority and he chose Elijah to be his messenger. Elijah had confidence in his God given purpose. It was out of an understanding that Israel needed to be reminded of God's authority that Elijah prayed.

Does that mean we can pray and God will dry up the clouds for three plus years. Yes and no. Elijah had no super powers. When God calls his people he prepares them to pray boldly according to his faithfulness and power.

I've seen people name, claim, and carry on over things they are sure God will do or give. And yet the answers still seem to allude or be manufactured. God is not bound to please us he is bound to glorify himself. Of course God can do anything, but we would be wise to pray for things far beyond our control or ability only after we have taken the time to know God's heartbeat and learned how he has purposed to use us in this place and time for his glory.

Could God use you or me to pray and dry up rain for years? Yes. Will he? I doubt it. I am not in Elijah's generation, facing the problems of his time, I am not purposed for what Elijah was purposed for. And neither are you. People like Elijah are examples of how God uses those who are willing to serve his purposes, not patterns to follow exactly.

Are you frustrated in your prayer life? Are you afraid to pray boldly? Or does God not seem to answer?

Ask God to reveal his heart, to align your heart to his, to inform your prayers with scripture, and to make you aware of his purpose for you in this generation. His purpose is always to glorify himself and to include you in that goal.

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