So Ahab went to eat and drink, but Elijah went up to the summit of Carmel. He bowed down on the ground and put his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, “Go up and look toward the sea.”
So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.”
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” - 1 Kings 18: 42-43
In this passage we see the prophet Elijah responding in prayer after the powerful move of God at Mount Carmel, where he showed up with fire from heaven. This act of God resulted in all the people declaring that the Lord is the one true God. There had been a severe famine in the land of Samaria and people were desperate for rain. King Ahab had blamed Elijah for the famine, but after encountering God on Mount Carmel, he went back to feast and wait for the rain that Elijah promised was coming. Elijah then went back to the summit of Carmel to pray.
During these last months as the pandemic has stretched far and wide over our world, affecting our personal lives and those we love, I have heard people using the phrase “famine season.” While we are not experiencing a true famine, I think many of us feel the weight and impact of the time we are in. As Elijah prays, he postures himself before the Lord in a way that shows a heart of worship and humility. I imagine what Elijah must have felt, coming away from such a clear and powerful encounter with God. He acted in faith, God showed up, and I believe his faith was even more increased to pray for the rain that would end the famine of the land. This was a big moment for Elijah, but God had just proved that he could do anything! This is important to note as we then see Elijah, after praying, tell his servant to go look toward the sea for a sign of rain. His servant returns and says he sees nothing. Then it says, Elijah had his servant go back and check seven times!
Our prayers are shaped by who we believe God is and what we believe he is capable of. Elijah believed God was greater than the unbelief of the people. He built the alter before God showed up in fire. He told King Ahab to go eat and drink because rain was coming, before there was even a cloud in the sky. He kept sending his servant back to check for rain because he believed the rain was coming. I wonder how many times Elijah would have sent his servant? What are the areas of your life currently where you need to remember who God is and what he is able to do in and through your life? Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.” God is waiting for us to respond to him with prayers full of belief of his power at work in us. Elijah’s faith was increased because he saw God move in a real way.
Take some time to ask God to remind you of answered prayers that will increase your faith over the areas you are still waiting in. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you to see that God is greater than your current circumstances. Begin your prayer with a time of worship, declaring who God is, his character, his love. Open your heart to receive with humility. I pray that your faith will be increased and your prayers filled with expectation of God bringing “rain” into the famine areas of your life.