Elijah Prayed

James 5:17-18 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.   18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

It is important to remember that the spirit and power of Elijah is returning in these last days. Although some believe it is the literal Elijah, and I allow for that and personally thing it will happen, there is also an application to the church.(Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: )
Jesus, in speaking of John the Baptist, said that John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, if they would receive it.(Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.    Matthew 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.)

This speaks to us that what God is about to do in the earth, may not be recognized by the current teachers, if it manifest in a way different than expected. Remember John did no miracles, signs, or wonders, like the first Elijah did; yet we cannot get around the testimony of Jesus concerning John the Baptist.

With this in mind, let us look at this prayer life of Elijah that stopped heaven at a Word from the Lord and released heaven at a Word from the Lord.

If we take the passage in James at face value, we see something that is not in the original account. “he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:”

The only pattern we have of Elijah’s prayer life is at the end of the time prophecied when he heard from God to release the heavens. Yet it says he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:. Therefore it would be right to look at the pattern at the end and at least use it as a templet for this type of prayer.

One of the dominating spirits over this area is the spirit of Jezebel. Yet, she was not at this confrontation, ordered by God of the God Baal. This should give us pause for thought. Although the account is full of prophetic application to the end time, it is important that we maintain the focus of God for this gathering.

1 Kings 18:42-44  So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.

Important to our understanding is the way that Elijah prayed. Using this templet, I want to remind you that one of the things that God spoke the last time we were here was that we needed to pray in, this Elijah anointing, or the spirit of Jezebel could not be dealt with. One of the things the spirit and power of Elijah manifest is an intensity in prayer.

You will note that Elijah, the man whom God caught up to heaven literally at the end of his life, the one promised to return in Malachi, the one who appeared on the Mt. of Transfiguration, and the one promised to come back in the end time, had to pray earnestly or intensely after he gave the Word of the Lord. He had to pray it into being. It was not just a brief prayer, but it says, he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,. There is an intensity here; almost a desperate attitude. It goes on to say that he sent his servant to look for a sign that God was going to answer and fulfill the Word he had prophesied. This pattern carried on for seven times. Elijah, needed a sign that God was going to fulfill His Word before he felt released to stop praying.
This flies in the face of much of today’s teaching.

Two quick illustrations also from scripture. I will give the reference of the account and a summery in order that we stay focused.

Gen. 32
In verse 1 the angels of God met him. This cause him to be hemmed in from behind as he passed into the territory the angels that met him watched over.

In verses 7, 11, it is clear that meeting Esau was his greatest fear.

From verses 9-12 Jacob speaks to God about the fear. He uses God’s word to him concerning coming home, and the promise that God would make his seed as the sands of the see as ground on which to beseech God. He used the Word of the Lord to him to establish a foundation for prayer.

Jacob then prepares to meet Esau, setting things up according to his fear.
In verse 24-30 Jacob wrestles his greatest fear through with God, not with Esau. He wrestled all night with God. It was not until God gave him a sign that He was going to keep His word, that Jacob released God from the wrestling match. This wrestling changed Jacob’s walk, life and nature.

Finally, Jesus in the garden. All of us have read the account. Every Easter, we hear it and know it too well.

As Jesus was prepared by the Father for betrayal and the cross, He had to wrestle with his own will. Remember the cry, Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. It took at least three hours of wrestling, and it was so intense that God sent angels to help him wrestle it through. Not only that, but the battle in the mind was so strong that He sweat as it were great drops of blood, the first blood shed for us, in this intense time in prayer. 

Words used to describe this time in Mat. 26:37 are sorrowful and heavy. Note in Luke 22:39 it seems to indicate that Jesus went there to pray often. Also in this account verse 43, angels appear strengthening Him. This prayer was hard work and He needed to be strengthened to continue and pray it through. Further in 44 it says He was in agony and prayed more earnestly(the same word used by James of Elijah).

In coming back to the focus of God for this evening. God is looking to bring His word to pass. One of the things that needs to come into place spiritually before we can see this area liberated from the spirits that oppress the church is a people in whom this type of prayer has a home. A people who know what God has said concerning a matter or situation and will pray until they see a sign, not necessarily large, but one that clearly indicates that God is going to answer.

If we look at what Elijah’s servant saw, it was a cloud so small in a sky so large that most would not have even thought the prayer was being answered. Yet we also read, that Elijah heard something in the Spirit that no one else heard. He heard the sound of abundance of rain. He heard that sound before he began to pray, but prayed until the small cloud arose. Because there had been clear skies for 3½ years, that small sign was enough.

There are many things we could teach from the small cloud’s appearance, but that is not tonight’s focus. It is important that we realize that all the “endtime” use of this account has not acknowledged that it was a storm cloud and have been expecting rain without the storm; won’t happen!

We ask you to pray now. Pray if it is that God's will draw you into prayer that sees results, that He will strengthen you, angelically if necessary, to be able to pray through the oppression and reigning spirits in the area. Pray that God will give a clear Word by which, you can storm heaven, and recognize when He has answered, and that you have prayed the issue, oppression, or situation all the way through.