July 21, 2008
Isn't it amazing how often people try everything but prayer? It's like the old saying: "When everything else fails, read the instructions." The same with prayer. When everything else fails, try prayer. "Okay, okay . . . maybe we should pray about it." But Elijah didn't use prayer as a last resort. Prayer was his first and only resort. A simple prayer of faith was his major contact with the living Lord. It set everything in motion.
Let me ask you a straight-out question: Do you, personally, pray? Now notice that I didn't say, "Do you listen when the preacher prays or when your parents pray?" I didn't say, "Do you know a good Bible study on prayer?" I didn't even say, "Have you taught on prayer?" I asked, "Do you, personally, pray?" Can you look back over the last seven days and pinpoint times you deliberately set aside for prayer? Even just a solid ten or fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with God?
This entire incident revolves around one dedicated life---the life of Elijah. He was a man all alone, overwhelmingly outnumbered by a hostile king, the king's wicked and powerful wife, eight hundred fifty pagan prophets and priests of Baal, and countless numbers of unbelieving Israelites. Yet all of them were silenced and intimidated by this one dedicated man of God.
Never underestimate the power of one totally dedicated life.
How exciting it would be if, through your own dedication to Jesus Christ, you could influence one person this next week, either by leading him to Jesus or by building her up in the faith. Sound impossible? You know it's not. The Bible and the history of the church are filled with stories of the difference one person's dedication to God has made.
Elijah staged a magnificent showdown with the prophets of Baal. But the greatest showdown of all time was at Calvary, where the enemy of God was defeated by the sacrifice of God's own Son. Why? Because God had one dedicated life He could count on: His own dear Son, Jesus. In fact, the difference He made changed all of history.
I urge you: step up!
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.