“After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land’”
— I Kings 18:1
Passivity is a robber. The prophet Elijah was anything but passive when he prayed for rain. There had been no rain on the land for three years. By anyone’s definition, that is a serious situation. How the rain came about is very interesting.
In I Kings 18:1, God tells the prophet, “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the land.” In I Kings 18:41, Elijah tells Ahab that God is going to send rain, in abundance nonetheless. Then Elijah goes to the top of Mount Carmel, bows himself onto the earth, and prays that God will send the rain. He does this seven times, sending his servant to go find out if there are any rain clouds coming over the sea. He does not stop praying until he sees the cloud.
The question is, why does he pray for what God has already said He would do? And why does he pray so intently, until he actually sees what God has promised? The answer to these questions lies in the great priority that God places on prayer; He longs to see His desires —the very things He has already promised to us—fulfilled in our lives. The New Testament puts it clearly; “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2). Perhaps there are things that God has promised you that remain unseen. There may be promises God has given His Church that we are not experiencing. Do not sit idly waiting for them to come about. This is no time for passivity; take those promises and pray them determinedly until you see them realized.
1. What is it that God has promised you that you do not yet see?
2. What are the promises God has given His Church that we are not experiencing?
Bill Dyck is Senior Pastor of Toronto Alliance Church, in Southern Ontario. He and his wife, Donna, have been serving there for twenty-one years, rebuilding hope for a future in the heart of the city.