It’s gardening season!
Over the past several weeks Peggy had transformed her over grown backyard into a beautiful garden and was showing a neighbour what she had accomplished. Pointing to a bed of flowers, she said, "Look at what I did here."
The neighbour corrected her, "You mean, 'Look at what God and I did here.'"
Peggy replied, "I guess you're right. But you should have seen the shape this plot was in when God was taking care of it by Himself."
We may find Peggy’s reply amusing, but it also expresses a wonderful spiritual truth: we are co-workers with God. And this truth applies to every area of life, including prayer.
Have you ever wondered, ‘Why do I bother praying? God knows everything anyway.”
The answer is simple and comforting. God has graciously chosen to give us the privilege of being His partner in both the physical and spiritual areas of life.
Over the past few weeks we have been studying the Old Testament prophet Elijah. And although Elijah was a prophet, James says that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours…” (James 5:17). That’s pretty encouraging because when Elijah prayed to God, God listened.
From Elijah’s prayer life we learn that prayer is not only a discipline that needs to be cultivated and developed but a skill to be practiced. Elijah also teaches us, from 1 Kings 18, that effective prayers are humble, specific, persistent and expectant.
A woman I know has been praying earnestly over the past several years for her daughter's broken marriage. She said to me some time ago, "I have been praying everyday that God would heal that marriage. I have been praying for my grandchildren that they not suffer. And even after all these years and with no evidence of change, I just keep on praying. I know God is listening."
I must tell you I was humbled by the persistence and confidence of her prayers, but I wondered to myself if maybe she was praying for the wrong thing.
I recently met this woman in passing. With a great big grin she said to me, "You know how I have been praying for my daughter and her broken marriage? Well, they have reconciled and their marriage is stronger than ever. Praise God!"
Praise God indeed. I was even more humbled by the faith of this women.
Here’s the thing: an answer to prayer may not come when we want or even as we want or expect. But we need to be consistent and persistent in prayer.
God has promised to answer our prayers for any need we might have and certainly our prayers for the needs of others. Elijah knew and believed the power of God to answer prayer, and so did my friend.
So, we have to ask ourselves this question, “Do we believe that God is never changing and the same yesterday, today, and forever?” If our answer is, “Yes”, then shouldn't we also believe as Elijah did?
God likes nothing more than answering your prayers and seeing His will be carried out in your life. When we connect with God in our prayers and believe that He resides in each and every word of those prayers, then we can have the confidence that Elijah had when he prayed.
Join us this Sunday as gather around the table and as we conclude our sermon series on Elijah!