During my prayer time, I meditated on the great man of God, named Elijah who was a prophet. He prayed fervently for it not to rain (1 Kings 18: 36-46) and it did not rain for the space of three and half years. A showdown occurred proving whose god was better, Baal or God. And of course, God displayed His greatness by answering by fire! After challenging King Ahab, Jezebel, and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, Elijah prayed again for the rain to return. But when it was time for the rain to return, it did not come back right away.
Elijah put his face between his knees and prayed for the rain to return and told Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower." (1 Kings 18:41) He said this even though he had not seen any natural proof of this. Then he told his servant to go an check to see if it looked like any rain was coming, but he came back and said, "nothing". So he sent him again and six times he replied, "nothing". But on the seventh time he said, "I see a cloud as small as a man's hand and is coming up from the sea." (I Kings 18:44). Soon after the sky grew black with clouds and wind and there was a heavy shower.
DISCOURAGEMENT CAN SET IN
I share this because I often think of how discouraged we can get when we don't see things happen as quickly as we'd like. We want things in our time, almost immediately, without demonstrating any faith or expectation. Our generation is a generation of instant coffee, drive-through windows and measuring the speed of our internet. We are hard-wired, because of our environment, not to wait for anything too long. Elijah persevered through his prayer to see his word fulfilled, at God's word. He demonstrated expectation by not giving up and sending his servant over and over again to go and check the sky to see what it looked like. What do you think was going on in the mind of the servant as he kept coming back with a disappointing answer? What type of facial expressions do you think he had on his face, that Elijah had to witness? Elijah had to ignore this and put forth the same faith he had initially when he stopped the rain in the first place. And he expected the rain to come back and it did.
WHEN WE DON'T SEE OUR PRAYERS ANSWERED
Many times when we don't see our prayers answered right away, it is because a principality in the second heaven is fighting it, or holding it back. It's not because God didn't want it to come forth for you, or because God was holding out on you. We see in the book of Daniel chapter 10, that Daniel prayed and fasted as well, and he was waiting for an answer from God. He was praying so fervently and persevering in prayer, so much so, that God had to send an angel down to explain what was happening and explain the delay! Here, the curtains are pulled back, and we get a glimpse into what happens in the second heaven and the war that goes on. In Daniel 10:12, the messenger angel shared, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words." Now, this has been one of the most comforting scriptures to me down through the years, because we can easily have the perspective that God doesn't care about our struggles or our pain, but this shows He does, and that there are seemingly unexplainable reasons, why we don't see what we want to see. He says the prince of Persia was opposing him for twenty-one days, and he even had to call on the archangel Michael to help him fight.
DON'T GIVE UP
To sum up, I say all this to say, don't give up! I don't know who I'm speaking to right now or who exactly will be blessed by this, but just remember to keep your head up because your day is coming. Your dreams can be fulfilled if you can submit them to God and have faith in Him. He knows the end from the beginning, and the best thing you can do to help yourself is draw closer to Him and learn His ways and his heart.
If this was a blessing to you, please let me know by commenting below. And if you have any prayer requests, please submit them via the contact form on this site, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to become born again or learn more about what I believe, please see the article, Sinner's prayer.
Originally published September 5, 2015