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1 Kings 17-18 The very first time we meet Elijah, he is walking into Ahab’s palace and declaring, ―No more rain until I say so!‖ Ahab said, ―Didn’t anyone get the license number on that hit and run?‖ Boom. Here is Elijah. Elijah, I am convinced, would be diagnosed with a serious disorder if he were alive today. He could have been bi-polar. When he was up… he was UP. When he was down… he was DOWN. He could take on the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel and then run like a scared little girl when Jezebel threatened his life. Thankfully, he wasn’t able to be diagnosed in those days and he gives us a picture of passion. This is a picture of someone who prayed bold prayers.
What scares you about bold praying?
One of the things that scares me about bold praying is the question of being presumptive. Am I praying something out of my own desires, or am I truly hearing the voice of God? Elijah comes in and boldly declares: ―No more rain.‖ He then goes to a stream where God tells him and satisfies himself with the supply of God for bread and water. It’s a catered meal.
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He then goes to a widow’s home at the instruction of God and relies on God supplying her and providing for him through that. He is so bold, he asks the widow to have faith to feed him FIRST. Even when the son dies suddenly, Elijah is bold in his prayers before God as he asks for new life in the son. He prays boldly at Mt. Carmel as he taunts the prophets of Baal. Whenever I think of bold prayers I think of people like Rees Howells. He was a British missionary and founder of a Bible college in Wales. His biggest ministry was intercession. During the Battle of Britain in 1940, he led his Bible college in intercession for Great Britain. During the Battle of Britain, the German air force would fly over the English Channel every day and bomb away at London and other targets. It was relentless. The German AF was the most powerful air force in the world and it looked like Germany would bomb England into submission. It was in the darkest days in September of 1940 that the intercessors would pray hard and they recorded the prayers and thoughts of Rees Howells and others. They had their doubts. It was recorded like this:
September 4. ―The situation in the country because of air raids may become very serious. We have never walked this way before. The important thing is to find out where God is in this. When you are in danger every night, it takes you a long time to be sure that you are under God’s protection. Can you say you are safe in the air raids? Has God told you? You may try to use the Word of God without having His power behind it. If God is going to deliver from this hell, there will have to be some power released. Unless you are sure of your own victory, you will never be able to pray for the deliverance of the country. We have bound the devil over and over again, and I hope we shall do it again when God’s time comes in this war.‖
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Read more: Inspirational ChristiansRees Howells: Intercessor | Chapter 35 – Battle of Britain http://www.inspirationalchristians.org/rees-howellsintercessor/chapter-35-battle-of-britain/#ixzz27rakrEmo September 8. National Day of Prayer. 9 a.m. ―Our country has only the outward form of religion, neither cold nor hot, like the church at Laodicea. May God bring the nation back. Our one cause for praise is that the enemy has not been able to invade our country.‖ At the midday service, just as Mr. Howells began to speak, the Nazi planes passed overhead; the guns in the field below crashed out and the siren sounded; but he went on with his message, and ―the congregation was held spellbound.‖ It
was at this point that the burden of prayer for protection and the questionings of the past few “days changed into praise and certainty. Full assurance of victory was given, and it rings out in Mr. Howells’ words: “What victory! Those who are in the Spirit see it is victory, because He has found believing in us. What joy! What praise! God would probably not give faith for victory in the war, until personal victory was first gained.”
The all-clear sounded as the service finished. They sang in closing: ―Death is vanquished, tell it with joy, ye faithful.‖ In the afternoon meeting of the same day, he said: ―I could now put it in print that no devil can touch anyone here. There is no need to pray any more. When you believe, you finish with prayer. We have never been in such victory before, carrying on exactly as if there was no war. How could we get victory for the world, unless we had first believed it for ourselves? You can’t trust in anything except believing prayer. How the Holy Ghost came down this morning in the communion service and told us of His victory!‖
Read more: Inspirational ChristiansRees Howells: Intercessor | Chapter 35 – Battle of Britain http://www.inspirationalchristians.org/rees-howellsintercessor/chapter-35-battle-of-britain/#ixzz27rbZ8vyl The breakthrough came Sept. 14-15. The Germans crossed over the English Channel, then turned back. They never returned.
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Rees Howells is a picture of bold praying. They moved through doubt, but when they finally sensed the victory in prayer, they offered up praise DAYS before the bombings would stop! What leads people to the place of praying bold prayers and moving out of the fear of presumption? It is KNOWING GOD. There is no doubt in the life of Elijah, though we don’t get his whole biography, that he reached a place of hearing God and knowing the voice God. He was able to declare things boldly out of his relationship. Out of his calling. Rees Howells grew in prayer. The more he walked with God the more he learned the voice of God. In our day, we need these bold intercessors once again. We need to know when we declare something in prayer we are truly agreeing with God and not being presumptive. Yet, we seem to be more afraid than ever to declare what God is speaking to our hearts. We need a new day of boldness. We need a new day where we are truly walking
This is the place we find ourselves as a church. We have gone through the stretching exercise of reading the NT in a big way, allowing the breadth of the Word to sweep us away. We need to stretch ourselves in the area of prayer as well. We need to have our spirits challenged. We need to open up our lives. We need to pour out our doubts and fears. We get disappointed in prayer. We get disappointed with unanswered prayer. We get discouraged over the silence of God.
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It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to quit. We live in a millisecond culture. If we can’t get our phones to dial fast enough or find the web page fast enough, we quit. We complain about slow stop lights. We complain about slow traffic. We complain about slow internet speeds. We live in such a fast moving society, we’ve microwaved our prayer life. It’s to the point of being shriveled up and almost non-existent. Some prayers lives need a microscope to be able to observe them, they are so shriveled up. Just as we need to regain our biblical perspective and GET INTO THE WORD, we need to regain our PRAYER perspective and get back into the prayer room. As I was studying this week in the life of Elijah, I was drawn again to a very powerful passage in Romans 13. As I read it in the Common English Bible, I was shaken again by the direct language of this passage.
As you do all this, you know what time it is. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your sleep. Now our salvation is nearer than when we first had faith. 12 The night is almost over, and the day is near. So let’s get rid of the actions that belong to the darkness and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let’s behave appropriately as people who live in the day, not in partying and getting drunk, not in sleeping around and obscene behavior, not in fighting and obsession. 14 Instead, dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.
The hour has already come for you to wake up from your sleep. This call is clear. The American Church has been lazy in its pursuit of God. We have been satisfied with too little of God and too much of this world. We have gauged our success in the wrong arenas. It is time for us to wake up.
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It is time to understand that the fullness of our salvation is nearer today than when we first believed. And when that fullness comes, there is an accounting in our lives. Paul is clear. There are actions to get rid of in our lives. There are actions to take on. What we need is to be clothed in the majesty of Jesus Christ. That happens when we are in the Word and in prayer. The phrase that stands out here is: ―As you do all this…‖ When there is a ―therefore‖ there, you ask, ―What is the therefore there for?‖ From the beginning of Chapter 12 Paul has been instructing the church on one basic thing: living the transformed life.
So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. (Rom. 12:1,2, CEB)
As Paul walks through the next several passage until we get to Rom. 13:11, so much of what he is saying sounds very much like the Sermon on the Mount. It is about living a life that is taking its cues from HEAVEN rather than this world and its systems. He talks about walking according the faith given you. He talks about walking in the gifts given you as you learn to blend those gifts with others. He talks about walking in the love of the Kingdom and keeping the enthusiastic fire of the Spirit burning deep inside. 6 Elijah and Bold Prayers
He talks about living under authority, including government authority. It’s about the basics of Kingdom life: Loving God and loving others! In Romans 12:1-2, we need to understand how powerful these words are for us. We need to get this, understand this, and let this FLOW into our lives or everything that follows simply fails. These first two verses are essential to all that follows! In 12:17-21 we have the essence of the transformed life. If we are TRULY transformed and live like this, it will revolutionize the world. It will turn our city
right side up.
We need our lives before the face of God once gain. The Word does that. We need to be in the Word to be before the face of God. Prayer does that. We need a walk of prayer that plants us right in front of God. We can’t get around him, and we find that we don’t WANT to get around him. In 1 Kings 18:30 it says Elijah ―repaired the Lord’s altar that had been damaged.‖ We need to repair the altar of prayer in our own lives. We need to open up our lives, our calendars, our priorities to the task of repairing this vital communication piece with the Lord. There are few things that we want to open up in the way of prayer for all of us. 1. Barbara Layton leads a prayer time on Mondays. Please talk to her about time and location. 2. David Kamuelyu, our intern, will be here at the church on Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. in prayer and invites anyone who is maybe on their way home from work to stop in and have a time of prayer as well. David is a man who loves prayer. 7 Elijah and Bold Prayers
3. We will have our Watch of the Lord on Friday, Oct. 26. This is a time when we give the night watch to the Lord. We pray from 8 to midnight and ask you to come for as long as you are able. We will focus on prayer in worship and a brief thought at the top of every hour and then allow for plenty of prayer time. Then there are resources to help refresh us and bring us back to the basics of prayer. The best one I know of is Dick Eastman’s The Hour That Changes the World. I have this slide of the prayer wheel he developed decades ago:
I also have a few handouts that give this in more detail. The principle he developed is out of a desire to pray for an hour. If you practice each of these types of prayer for 5 minutes, you pray for an hour. The handout has more detail and Scripture to aid in this journey.
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The other area we want to equip you in is praying boldly. We need bold prayers. We need the boldness of Elijah without the presumption of false prophets who don’t know God. Next week we are going to have the service dedicated to worship and prayer. This week let’s reflect on the power of prayer. Let’s ASK God for the boldness to hear from heaven again! Bring your requests next week. We are going to have an extended time of corporate prayer for individual needs. We will also be praying for our missionary family. They are going through some intense battles right now. We are going to be praying for revival in our city. We are going to pray specifically for souls. We need the boldness of Elijah in our lives again. We need a church full of people so intimate with God we hear his voice and respond. COMMUNION I always offer this altar area as the place where you can take some time to hear from God or speak your requests to him. This week I really want this to be a place of repair. Let’s commit THIS WEEK to prayer by taking the communion emblems and truly spending some time around these altars. Kneel. Sit. Stand. Take the communion with Christ and fall on your face if you like. But let’s repair THIS altar in our church and repair the altar of prayer in our lives.
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