Praying When We Are Down

 

Have you ever thought about what kind of people God uses for His glory? Many of them are just like us, weak and sometimes failing.

 

That is just what God wants us to know today. Let God's power be with­drawn, even for a moment, and we immediately see that we are only earthen vessels—absolutely valueless and useless in ourselves. This is why the psalmist said, "Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm 39:5). Man left to himself is a failure. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." John 15 "Apart from Me ye can do nothing." Who do we remember like this? Elijah! And we should all be encouraged by Elijah. Remember James 5:17? James wrote that "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 land for three years and six months." Why? Because God says he had a nature like ours, "subject to like passions" homiopathes lit. of the same experience! 

 

Now, turn to the biography of Elijah in 1 Kings 18.

 

Part One: God sent rain to drought-stricken Judah in response to Elijah's prayers that is 1 Kings 18:16-46.

Part Two: But within less than 24 hours we find Elijah despairing of life and asking the Lord to take him home in 19:1-4. Now how can a man who was unmoved by fear even before the 450 frenzied, false prophets, get so afraid? The answer is in the fact Elijah is smitten by the threats of one wicked and hard hearted woman named Jezebel. Although he was perhaps eighty years old at that time, Elijah "was afraid and arose and ran for his life" down to Beersheba (95 miles) and on into the wilderness.

 

What happened? Elijah falls from the sheer delight of being on a mountain top with God. Elijah plunges into deep depression. Welcome to an incredible lesson in serving our Lord!

 

Satan wants to discourage us. His method is simple. He points at our failures, our sins, our unresolved problems, our weaknesses, or even our poor health. Satan wants to show us whatever seems negative in our lives. If we will look at our sins and failures instead of rejoicing in Christ's forgiveness and deliverance we begin to lose confidence in the love and care of our heavenly Father.

 

Someone has said, "The best of men are but men at their best." God wants us to know this: Let God's power be with­drawn, even for a moment, and one sees that people are only earthen vessels.

 

 

So what do we need to learn about prayer when we like Elijah get down?

What did Elijah learn while he was down?

1.      God needed to get Elijah's attention. (19:1-2 Who was he paying attention to? God or that woman?)

2.      God needed to refocus Elijah's life (19:3) away from problems and onto God!

3.      God needed to Humble Elijah's pride (19:4) he had thoughts that he was greater than those before him, that is pride!

4.      God needed to rest Elijah's body (19:5) If we neglect our body it will pull down our spiritual life.
5.      God needed to touch elijah's life  (19.5,8)
6.      God needed to feed Elijah supernaturally  (19:6-7)

7.      God needed to strengthen Elijah physically (19:8)

8.      God needed to question Elijah personally (19:9-18)

ü      Elijah learned he was living in the past tense v. 9-10

ü      Elijah learned God isn't only in the big things v. 11-12

ü      Elijah learned God also uses small things v. 13-14

ü      Elijah learned God has plans we aren't even aware of v. 15-16

ü      Elijah learned that God will deal with others disobediences v. 17

ü      Elijah learned that God has other servants He is working with v. 18

 

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