“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard
Scripture reading: 1 Kings 18:41-46
There are many anecdotes on the virtue of perseverance that resulted in remarkable successes of certain historical figures. It is said that Thomas Edison tried a several thousand times before he could perfect the incandescent light bulb. President Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed in business twice and suffered a nervous breakdown before becoming one of the greatest presidents of the USA. In the field of literature, many of the best-selling authors in this generation excelled because they persevered until their works were published. J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel was rejected eight times before being published; since then the Potter series has made her the richest writer in history. Perseverance in every area of life is essential if one would excel in his/her God-ordained destiny. As the popular adage goes, Rome was not built in a day, so no-one attains the ultimate of their purpose without an appreciable time of perseverance in their fields of discipline.
Our scripture reading for today exhorts all Christians to persevere in the discipline of prayer in order to receive divine results from God. In the parable of the importunate widow in Luke 18:1-8, the Lord encouraged believers to pray always and not to faint. This is one of the secrets of partnering with God to live the abundant life on earth. The prophet Elijah, through the agency of prevailing prayer, demonstrated the glory of God in an unprecedented level in his generation. So novelty was the prayer life of Elijah that believers under the new covenant were exhorted to emulate His manner of prayer in James 5:17-18, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months; and he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” We did not have a glimpse of his initial prayer to shut down the sky from raining but today’s passage gives a vivid detail of the power of prevailing prayer. After three-and-half years of a cloudless sky, Elijah assumed the posture of a laboring woman on top of Mount Carmel. Bible does not tell us how long each prayer session lasted, maybe several hours, but it does tell us that there was no manifestation of a divine answer after six long tries. He could have quit but he persevered until the seventh time when he had a peek into the formation of a cloud as small as a man’s fist. That was the breakthrough that he was praying for which ushered in the heavy downpour and the beginning of a new season in the land of Israel.
One can authoritatively say that the secret behind the victorious lives of the stalwarts of the faith such as Abraham, David, Elijah, Daniel, Paul, Peter and even the Lord Jesus Christ was their understanding and commitment to the discipline of prevailing prayer. Yes, God can do all things without our request and at certain times, before we call, He would have already answered but prayer is the key which unlocks heavenly blessings in the lives of men on earth. It is noteworthy that prayer is so crucial in the Kingdom of God that it transcends the earth to heaven. The present day ministry of Jesus Christ is a High Priest always engaged in prayer on behalf of the saints. A peek into heaven reveals the existence of golden censers whose primary function is to collect the prayers of the saints. There is a threshold when your prayers bring manifestation of heavenly answers, so don’t quit praying. If you don’t quit, you’ll see the glory of God.
Stay richly blessed as you devote yourself to the discipline of effectual, fervent and prevailing prayer from this day onwards. God is faithful and if your request is according to His perfect will as stated expressly in His Word and by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, don’t waver in your prayer but PUSH – Pray Until Something Happens – as Elijah did on top of the mountain.
Memory verse: “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” – James 5:16b (amp)
Dr. Isaac Paintsil ©