‘Prayer And Clouds’

 

“And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there arises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare your chariot, and get you down, that the rain stops you not.”      1 Kings 18:44

The Old Testament prophet Elijah had just spoken to King Ahab who was governing over Israel, about a few things the Lord had spoken to him.  Specifically that the Lord would be judging Israel once again because of their repeated practice of idolatry.
The judgment would be no rain  would be falling upon the land.  Later on in Chapter 18, God uses His prophet, Elijah to draw back the nation, once again back unto Himself.
I found it most interesting the Omnipotence of God seen here in determining when and where life giving rain would fall.  It is a careful reminder that God is in control of every aspect of life, in this case man’s life.   Water, without it, we’re dead.  We wouldn’t be able to plant or harvest food without it. We couldn’t raise cattle, chickens for consumption.  We would have all kinds of sickness and disease without being able to wash ourselves.  And life itself, as humans God made us 2/3 water.
Maybe, taking a second and watching this video by Rick Decker  will help us to get a little clearer picture of..”Where would we be without WATER?”

Water is the most common substance on Earth, covering more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface. Water is also an important element, other than air and moderate temperature that makes the Earth realm an inhabitable place.

It is also undeniable that all life on Earth, from the microscopic bacteria to the gigantic whale, depends on water to survive and continue their existence.

Human beings are also not excluded. In fact, two-thirds of the human body and about nine-tenths of human blood consists of water. Not to forget that water is also needed by trees and plants to grow and to produce their own food through photosynthesis. Water also helps to shape the Earth’s physical appearance. This is proved by the fact that two-thirds of the Earth is covered by the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers.

It is a fact that a normal human can only live for five to seven days without water and die of dehydration after that period of time. This is because water is needed to carry consumed food, nutrients and oxygen all over our body to live. Furthermore, water is needed by Man to maintain our body temperature as well as to keep our body clean. Water is also used widely by Man to do their daily activities, such as house chores, farming and manufacturing. This shows how essential water is to mankind.

The process, called the water cycle, in which God in His dilligent maintenance of His creation is vital  to maintain the amount of water on Earth. There are many sources of water, such as oceans, rivers, lakes, glaciers and so on. Most of our water comes from rivers. The purest form of water is rainwater. This is because other substances that are mixed in water will naturally be left behind when water evaporates.

So then, ‘where would we be without water?’     There is only one word to answer this question. DEAD! There would be absolutely no life on earth without it. The earth would be a giant, dry rock with no life upon it. No plants, No animals, No humans. It is impossible to live with out it, and it is the most important thing we have on the earth.

We need to have at least 70-80 ounces of water every day to keep our body properly hydrated, so within one day, our body would already be suffering from lack of water. Consistent failure to drink enough water can lead to Chronic Cellular Dehydration. This is the condition where the body’s cell are never quite hydrated enough to leave them in a weaken state, vulnerable to attack from disease.

It weakens the body’s overall immune system and leads to chemical, nutritional, and pH imbalances that can cause a host of diseases.

It is needed for almost every bodily function to properly take place. H2o is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption,.

Without water in the body, we wouldn’t even be able to eat. We need saliva to digest our food, and without water saliva cannot be produced.

Another vital part water plays on the body is that it is needed for proper circulation. It makes blood flow easier through the veins and arteries. When we eat, we have to get rid of our waste some how. Water helps remove toxins and waste from the body, particularly from the digestive tract. Humans also need to stay at a certain temperature to stay healthy. Water is also what regulates our body temperature.

When it is hot out side, our body releases water from inside and it comes through the pores in our skin, cooling us down. This is the process known as sweating. Without this, we would over heat and most likely die a slow and hot death. Just like plants are important for humans and animals to exist, humans and animals are important for plants to exist. We are what make the carbon dioxide that they breathe, and without us there would be no plants at all.

44 The servant did as Elijah requested each time; and on the seventh time, he told Elijah, “A minuscule cloud, as tiny as the hand of a man, is ascending from the sea.”  Go quickly, and give a message to Ahab for me: “Prepare your chariot, and leave quickly before the rain gets torrential and keeps you from traveling.”

Now then, getting back to this passage of scripture today and gain a greater appreciation of not only where this precious commodity, water comes from but who gives it, and what our role it is in procuring this important part of our life.

It was God, who spoke to Elijah, his prophet about getting the attention of His chosen people to pay attention, and worship something meaningful. Instead of worshiping the ‘creation’ worship the ‘Creator’.  Sure doesn’t sound to me like things have changed much in our own ‘modern’ world thought…
Now an important point to note here is that in 1 Kings 18:1 the Lord told Elijah that rain would come.

Elijah, being a bonfied believer in what God say’s, and a believer in prayer began once again to show, by example how to get God’s ear.  It would be through God’s Word and His promise, and Elijah’s compassion for his people that would lead him to persistently pray for rain.

He climbs Mount Carmel, and begins his prayer.  As he starts to pray, he tells his servant to look toward the sea for any sign of rain.. I like the idea Elijah left for us that he didn’t just pray, but he looked for results.

I think there are times when we need something to happen in or around our own lives where we are going through the motion of prayer, without really expecting anything to actually happen…… and so we see that Elijah made sure his servant was looking for something to change……….I think that we too need to be looking for change actively as we pray.

For me, when I’m praying for a situation to change, I like to look for confirmation. This comes to me when my prayer lines up with the Word of God.  Is what I’m praying for in line with His will and what He has promised me?  And…. is my prayer in agreement with what the Bible is saying?

Elijah’s prayers were answered because God already told him rain would come.   Like Elijah, I also need to keep taps on a regular basis of what I’m praying…. am I looking for it to develop?   Every time Elijah’s servant would check, he would come back saying, ‘Not yet’ ‘Nothing’s happening quite yet’.   There are times it seems  like nothing is happening…

The fact is, that this happens a lot for me.  Nothing seems to be happening… that’s why it’s so important for me to not be discouraged when it happens.  Be assured that God is hearing us.

daniel 10-1

‘ Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.”
Daniel 10:1

Did Elijah give up? No, he just kept on praying, saying to the servant “go back”.  In other words he was saying “I will keep on praying, you keep on looking – something will happen.”

How many times did Elijah send his servant out to look, to ‘Go back’ ? Seven times! I have a feeling that was not easy…. but you know what?  There are times when it is necessary to pray over something…over and over.  There have been times when my prayers took days, weeks, even years to be answered.  At the end of it, God showed me it wasn’t because He was too busy to answer my prayer at all….All along He was making preparation for the answer and for me to accept the answer.

 Eventually change comes. Elijah’s servant “sees a cloud as small as a man’s hand arising out of the sea.”

This is so important. When I pray, I need to train myself to looking attentively for change. Notice that the reain didn’t come all at once……..  The fact is that the cloud the servant saw wasn’t very large….and easy to see….. It was what? ‘the size of a man’s fist.”   The servant could have easily missed it if he was not vigilant…… I need to be careful  to see the answer when it comes!

When I’m praying for something, I shouldn’t be surprised if the breakthrough I want to come, suddenly arrives as something small.  Maybe you are praying for a better job, and when an opportunity does come….it isn’t really what you were expecting.. maybe out of you ‘comfort zone’.  Think twice before you shove it away…. it could just be a ‘small cloud’ that the Lord is sending you.

It could very well be that this ‘small cloud’ is a sign that a season of abundance is coming into your life!   It is soooo important that we develop a grateful attitude of whatever size cloud is coming…..before the answer arrives.

 .
As soon as Elijah was told a ‘small cloud had come’ , he knew his prayer was answered. That’s why he instructed his servant to tell Ahab to go to Jezreel before the rain stopped him.

The rain came, and it will come for us too! Let this passage be an encouragement for you today and use the example God has given to us about the value of prayer.  Elijah had confidence in the Lord.

He prayed the same prayer over and over and over again. Yet he never waivered. He kept sending the servant back to look for a change to come. If we will seek to hear from the Lord and pray as Elijah did, we too too can experience great answers to prayer.

This passage was inspired by a recent letter from Patty and I’s missionary friend Joetta Smith , whom God has called to serve Him in Kenya, Africa.  She shares their need for water and dependance upon God to supply their needs.  Here is part of that letter.

JOETTA-KIDS

Hello Marty and Patty,
     Mama Junior and I went for 3 days of prayer and fasting and it was so good!  Haven’t been able to go for quite a while and to have uninterrupted time with the Lord in prayer and reading His word…SO refreshing!!  I read mostly in Luke, John, and Acts….So encouraging and sure reminds me why I am here!!  May HE be glorified in all we do!
We had discussed getting a large water tank to catch the rain water as we have such difficulty getting water any more.  The river doesn’t dry up but it seems since the dry weather that people are bathing in the river and just doing their laundry right in the water instead of taking water in basins to do the wash.  It is pretty dirty now is stagnant in some places.
Pastor Hosea’s family has really had a lot of sickness.  Well, can you believe that we may be able to have a well started very soon!  It will be a dug well but for us it is like a miracle!!
We even have to drink the river water and treat it with Water Guard.  We will buy a smaller tank now and God willing, we can have the fundi begin to dig the well very soon.  You don’t appreciate water until there isn’t any!!
We have to pay someone to bring it, too, so the well will cut that expense.  God is always on time.
     We are planning to get the matt and 4 foam mattresss plus mosquito nets so pastors can start coming to spend a few days at a time for studies.  They are so excited about this!  It is SO refreshing to see these dear men of God SO enthused over the word of God!  They are more like my sons that God has blessed me with!  Of course, some are older…could be my brothers!!  Well, in the Lord we ARE related!
     I do pray to live long enough to see this ministry going stronger and stronger as pastors grow in their faith and in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
     I pray all is well with you and Patty.  No matter what life may hold we KNOW who holds our life!!
     Love you both so much, Mama Jo / Joetta
What a wonderful work God is doing through Joetta in Kenya. If you’d like to write her an e-mail, I’ve included her address below. Most of all, won’t you please join Patty and I in praying for that ministry, for her needs, and equipment to fulfill this great calling upon her, just like He called Elijah!
Here is a verse maybe you could pray with us before you leave today. As our beloved Pastor Chuck Smith said in his prayer to those who listened in to the Word of God, “May the Lord bless you, and keep you, and comfort you, and may His face shine upon you!”
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21
Here’s Today’s Music Video: Enjoy!

 

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