Prayer


Do you sometimes feel that your prayers go no farther than the ceiling? Do you wonder whether God is even listening?

Do you sometimes feel that your prayers go
no farther than the ceiling? Do you wonder whether God is even listening?

The truth is, God hears and treasures every
word of your prayers, and he answers them all in his perfect wisdom and his perfect
love for you.

The apostle James wanted us to know that
our prayers are just as effective as any of the great heroes of faithfulness in
the Bible. He wrote in James 5:17 and 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.” (NIV)

Well, honestly, it’s a little hard to
believe that Elijah was really just a human being like us. He was the most
renowned prophet in the Bible. God used him in some of greatest and most well
known miracles in the entire Bible! Elijah called down fire from heaven,
multiplied oil and flour, and even raised the dead.

How could our prayers possibly match up to
those of powerful man of God like Elijah? Elijah even had a conversation
with God on Mount Moriah.

The truth is, Elijah really was a man just like us. Remember, in
between some of those astounding miracles Elijah could also be frustrated,
lonely, depressed, angry, plagued with self-doubt and even wishing he were
dead.

Let’s read 1 Kings 19:3 & 4: “Elijah was afraid and
ran for his life… He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he
might die. ‘I have had enough, LORD,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better
than my ancestors.’” (NIV)

Sounds pretty close to home, doesn’t it?

This episode in Elijah’s life ended on
Mount Horeb, where God sent a wind, an earthquake and a fire. But God didn’t
meet Elijah in any of those. God met him instead in a still, small, voice.

We often think that God is not with us
unless we are doing so-called “great” things for God. We worry that God won’t
hear our prayers unless they are strong enough, loud enough, and convincing
enough. But here’s what we need to remember:

We are not alone. When we pray, it isn’t
just us praying, it’s Jesus praying in us, with and for us. Let’s read this
passage in John 14:20 together:

Jesus said, “On that day you will realize that I am in
my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (NIV)

We are never alone. Jesus is in us and we
are in him and he is in the Father.

In fact, Paul said in Colossians 3:4 that
Jesus is our life. He represents us before the Father. He substitutes
for us before the Father. He is our all in all, our beginning and our end.

Jesus takes our weak and puny and often
misguided prayers and redeems them, offering up to God in our place and on our
behalf his perfect prayers. He never leaves nor forsakes us, he said.

Yes, Elijah was a man just like us, and God
heard his prayers, not because of some supposed righteousness of Elijah’s, but
because God is in the business of redemption and salvation. He hears your
prayers because Christ is in you and you are in Christ, and that does not depend
on you.

It’s something he did because he loves you.
It isn’t about so-called great and powerful things, it’s about love, and God
loves you with a love that will never end. You can count on it.

I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.

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